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Simulations of dredged sediment spreading on a Posidonia oceanica meadow off the Ligurian coast, Northwestern Mediterranean

January 8, 2014

The sandy deposits from dredging can have negative effects on the environment such as increase in suspended solids in the water column and their consequent transport. An experimental study was conducted to characterize water masses, dynamics, and sedimentation rates on the Ligurian continental shelf (Italy), where both a sand deposit, that could be used for beach nourishment, and a nearby Posidonia oceanica meadow coexist. The environmental plan provides a mathematical simulation of the sediment-dispersion to evaluate the possible impact on the meadow. It has been calculated that the dredging could double the concentration of suspended particles, but its scheduling will preclude a sediment accumulation. All the information obtained from this work will be used to study the environmental feasibility of the sand deposit exploitation and as starting point for drawing up the monitoring plan in case of dredging.

Capello M, Cutroneo L, Ferranti M P, Budillon G, Bertolotto R M, Ciappa A, Cotroneo Y, et al., in press. Simulations of dredged sediment spreading on a Posidonia oceanica meadow off the Ligurian coast, Northwestern Mediterranean, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2013, doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.12.014. Article.

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