Turbidity and Other Effects Resulting from Trafalgar Sandbank Dredging and Palmar Beach Nourishment
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SourceJournal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering - 2011, Vol. 137 n. 6, pp. 332-343.
Beach-nourishment requirements on the southwestern Spanish coast have led to a significant increase in offshore dredging. Following a new research line, assessment of changes recorded in physicochemical and biological parameters due to dredging and dumping operations was performed at the Cape of Trafalgar and Palmar Beach during June and July 2008. Turbidity, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and suspended-sediment data were collected at 10 stations. At the end of the study, a three-campaign monitoring program was implemented for 1 year to assess the possible effects on biological communities and sediment properties. The relevant results, such as the average extent of the sediment plume (< 400 m) and its persistence in the environment (< 10 min), are discussed in this paper. A precise correlation between turbidity and suspended sediments and the recovery time of ecological balance were also established. Furthermore, minimal and reversible effects caused by dredging and dumping operations in this type of marine environment were identified.