European marine sand and gravel resources: evaluation and environmental impact of extraction


Déborah Idier

Michiel Knaapen

Suzanne Hulscher


University of Twente




November 2002 – October 2005

Background and objectives

The EUMARSAND is an EU-project, consortium of 9 universities and institutes, overall project leader Dr A. Uriarte, (AZTI) Santander, Spain. The strategic objective of the project EUMARSAND is to investigate and train to high level young researchers in the complex issues associated with the marine aggregate exploitation. These issues are addressed through the application of a wide range of scientific approaches (geological, sedimentological, physical, ecological and engineering -based). The integration of these approaches will improve significantly both resource management and our knowledge on the impacts of aggregate extraction, on the state and dynamics of the inner shelf and coastal environments.

Within this research training network project, the department WEM (University of Twente) is especially involved in:

  • Modelling of the physical and ecological impacts of offshore sand and gravel mining on sandbanks, by numerical modelling and stability analysis.
  • Improvement in the understanding of ‘bed regeneration’ processes which can occur on sandbanks, after extraction.


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Idier, Astruc and Hulscher, Influence of the bed roughness on the generation of megaripples and dunes, ICCE2004, Lisbon, sept. 2004.

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Paarlberg, A. The significane of biological activity for morphology and sand-mud distributions. MSc. thesis, University of Twente. WL|Delft Hydraulics report Z2837. 2003.