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Sediment surveys

Sediment surveys

Understanding the benthic environment requires an understanding of not just the biota, but also the physical environment. We provide a service to analyse the physical environment through the use of particle size analysis (PSA). We use the latest technology and our specialist database to process particle samples, ensuring quality and efficacy for our clients.

Application of PSA

Laser particle size analysis provides information on sediment grain size and distribution - understanding this textural data can help to characterise aspects of the physical environment such as erosion, deposition and transport rates. We also use this data with our knowledge of benthic macroinvertebrate communities to build up a picture of habitat types (biotopes) within the sample area.

Samples, processing and analysis

We can collect samples appropriate for PSA testing through our surveys, or receive samples directly from clients. Once received, samples are analysed in-house using standard (ISO3310-1/BS410-1) half-phi sieves and our Malvern Mastersizer 2000, according to NMBAQC Scheme Best Practice Guidance. Derived data, from sieve and laser diffraction, are then stored, merged and interrogated using our specialist Unicorn database.

We are able to provide data directly to our clients, and where required provide statistical analysis and data interpretation.

The results of our surveys can be used to assess the development proposals against a range of national and European legislation, including Wildlife and Countryside Act, the EIA Directive, the Habitats Directive, as well as local and national planning policy.

Sediment surveys