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2009, EMU Ltd, The Outer Thames Estuary Regional Environmental Characterisation

2009, EMU Ltd, The Outer Thames Estuary Regional Environmental Characterisation

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Benthic Ecology


The aim of the Outer Thames Estuary Regional Environmental Characterisation (REC) is to provide an environmental reference statement defining marine and seabed conditions within the study area. Following survey conducted in 2007 (link) the REC reviews existing literature but is largely based upon the interpretation of MALSF survey data. The characterisation process begins by reviewing the physical conditions in the area, for example tides, currents, seabed geology and seabed sediment transport. A heritage assessment has been combined with the interpretation of the Quaternary geology to produce an integrated assessment, whilst the wreck and other modern archaeology have been treated separately. Analysis of the benthic infauna and epifauna communities have been combined with an evaluation of their associated physical conditions to produce a habitat and biotope assessment.  The characterisation process also highlights regional environmental sensitivities, for example sites of potential conservation, fisheries or heritage significance, as well as informing marine spatial planning.


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Grab Data Locations

Grab Data and Drop Down Camera Locations

2m BeamTrawl Locations

Video CameraTransect Locations

Trackplot Locations


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Grab Data Infaunal and Epifaunal Clusters

Study Boundary Location

Survey Boundary Location

Seabed Morphology

Seabed Sediments

Seabed Sediments Dunes

Transport Direction Sediment

Transport Direction Sand

Glacial Limits Saalian

Glacial Limits Elsetrian Anglian

Glacial Limits Elsetrian Anglian Modified

Grab Data Sediment

Glacial Limits Devensian

Enclosed Deeps

Plateau Margin

Interpreted Channel Systems

Terrestrial Channel System OIS6-4

Terrestrial Channel System OIS8-6

Terrestrial Channel System OIS12

Terrestrial Channel System OIS12-10

Terrestrial Channel System OIS18

Wrecks Swath and Side Scan Sonar and Observed

Grab Data Fauna

Final Report Appendices

Final Report

Grab Data and Drop Down Camera Biotopes

Grab Data and Drop Down Camera Epibenthos

2m Beam Trawl Assemblages

2m Beam Trawl Points Sabellaria

Complex Habitats

Complex Biotopes