Dredging monitoring

Assessing the effect of dredging and construction works

Satellite data can be used to monitor the suspended material over time as effect of dredging and construction works. Dredging plumes can extend for several kilometers, depending on water movements and sediment type. The suspended materials might have a large influence on local ecology.

The light penetration in the water column is reduced, affecting growth of vegetation and the visibility for fish of prey. On the other hand, the suspended material often contains nutrients, which leads to increased phytoplankton growth. This is favourable for herbivorous macrofauna and fish that feed on these. However, shellfish and other bottom dwelling organisms might get covered by the suspended material when it sinks to the bottom again.

Therefore, large dredging projects often require an intensive environmental impact monitoring project alongside. We can help you by providing satellite based maps of the plume, and automated in situ monitoring.