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Project 7 – Sediment budget for the Danish Wadden Sea


In this project we will try to make a sediment budget for the Danish Wadden Sea. This will be done through analysis of the different elements in a sediment budget. With this analysis and contributions from the other international partners in the Building with Nature project we will be a step closer to getting a total sediment budget for the whole Wadden Sea.

The Danish Wadden Sea is approximately 800 km2  and consists of a number of barrier islands from south Rømø, Mandø, Fanø and the peninsula Skallingen. The islands defins the Wadden Sea from the North Sea.

In order to be able to say something about the sediment budget in the Danish Wadden Sea, it is important to know all the different elements. We have to know all the sediment input and sediment output.

The theoretical sediment budget for the Danish Wadden Sea can be shown like this.

Figure 2: Theoretical sediment budget for the Danish Wadden Sea
Figure 2: Theoretical sediment budget for the Danish Wadden Sea

The Danish Coastal Authority has previously looked into the sediment budget in different parts of the Wadden Sea. This sediment budget was based on two survey campaigns in the years 1966-1970 and the second one in the years 1994-2003.

This surveys lead to four reports:

  • "Morfologisk udvikling i Vadehavet – Grådybs Tidevandsområde og Skallingen"
  • "Morfologisk udvikling i Vadehavet – Knudedyb Tidevandsområde"
  • "Morfologisk udvikling i Vadehavet – Juvre Dybs Tidevandsområde"
  • "Morfologisk udvikling i Vadehavet – Lister Dybs Tidevandsområde og Vadehavsfronten"
  • The Danish reports can be found on this link: Morfologisk udvikling i vadehavet (In Danish)

The first step to getting a total sediment budget is to collect all parts in figure 1. We already have some parts but other parts are missing.

One of the missing parts in the sediment budget is knowledge about the Wadden Sea Front. An analysis of the Wadden Sea Front is therefore started. Two main issues will be analyzed.

How has the Wadden Sea Front development in the period in which the Coastal Authority has measured?

Is it possible to see the direction and amount of sediment movement?

This project will be running from 2016-2019 (mid).

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