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Sediment imbalances and flooding risk in European deltas and estuaries

Rovira, Albert, Ballinger, Rhoda ORCID:, Ibáñez, Carles, Parker, Paul, Dominguez, M. Dolores, Simon, Xavier, Lewandowski, Andrzej, Hochfeld, Boris, Tudor, Marian and Vernaeve, Liesbeth 2014. Sediment imbalances and flooding risk in European deltas and estuaries. Journal of Soils and Sediments 14 (8) , pp. 1493-1512. 10.1007/s11368-014-0914-4

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Purpose We analysed the status of current water and sediment management practices in six deltas and estuaries, which were part of the European DELTANET, INTERREG-funded network. Materials and methods These systems—the Danube, Ebro and Vistula deltas and the Elbe, Minho and Severn estuaries—represent different geographic regions of Europe. This enables comparison between the sites’ approaches to common coastal issues, notably those associated with sediment budgets, contamination and flood risk. Based on documentary analysis, workshop events and expert discussion, we employ a simple classification scheme to distinguish between levels of risk from these aspects. Results We suggest that flood risk is the most significant risk, followed by upstream sediment retention and sediment aggradation. Chemical contamination, though less severe, is not unimportant. Key management issues include a lack of environmental quality standards for sediment and suspended particulate matter, as well as the limited deployment of monitoring programmes, regular sediment sampling and associated chemical analyses. Conclusions These include both general and specific recommendations. Within these, the limited scope of integrated plans that aim for sustainability of the respective systems is highlighted. It is suggested that these do not challenge traditional, classical engineering approaches sufficiently. Nor do they address the origin of many environmental problems, especially those which are closely linked to short-term political and economic priorities.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1439-0108
Funders: Interreg IVc
Date of Acceptance: 15 May 2014
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 10:15

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