GEOWATERS Integrated Geophysical Techniques for Surveying and Quantifying Potentially Polluted Sediments in European Waterways

Country: EU Projects
Start Date:   31/12/2001         Duration:          Project Type: RTD
Contract Number: EVK1-CT-2001-30009
Organisation Type:  EC Project
Contaminated land-->Site investigation-->Methods
Diffuse pollution-->Contaminants-->Contaminants overview
Water resources and their management -->River basins
Project objectives:
This CRAFT project has as main aim the development of an integrated geophysical technology to measure and monitor recently deposited, and potentially polluted 
sediments in European freshwater waterways which are contaminating water supplies. The proposed technologies are non-invasive, and with very low environmental
impact. The data output from these techniques forms the basis of a management tool to be used by the potential end users, such as local authorities or dredging
companies. The main tasks of the project include: Improvement of the integrated positioning and navigation techniques to ensure the required accuracy Integration of processing functionality in the acquisition software an integrated GPR/shallow seismic system for sludge quantification in underwater sediments a new, submersible GeoRadar antenna new antenna configuration development of it-architecture to store large, but accessable amounts of data development of automatic layer discrimination GPR software, regarding water/sludge/solids calculating software for automatic generation of cubic meters to be dredged development of a general format for interchangability with clients IT-platforms Enhanced, real-time imaging system for data visualisation and presentation new geophysical configuration for better penetration into wet sediments Combined seismic/GPR methodology for mapping and quantifying sludge layers in waterways a management tool for end-user authorities and dredging companies Data archival and data management system.
Project Summary:
New sediment layers accumulating on the floors of rivers, canals, lakes, and harbours in industrialised countries contain varying amounts of contaminants 
which have been discharged from a range of activities, both legal and illegal. These contaminated sediments are known collectively as sludge, and have been
accumulating since the 1950ís. The contamination is often startling; the River Rhine discharges 13 tons of Cadmium annually to the North Sea, of which 8 tons
comes from Dutch industry. The Rhine, together with similar surface waters, provides 65% of drinking water in the Netherlands. The identification of contamination
in waterways like these has led to the realisation that there is a need to carry out surveys of the pollution, in many cases followed by remediation. Contaminated
water floors, though probably created in the past, continue to disperse their pollutants in the water, thus creating a potential effect on the quality of drinking
water and recreational water. During the Exploratory Award phase (contract nr. EXAW-1999-00452) it has been shown that this is a European problem. Remediation
work can only be carried out in a cost effective way if it is preceded by a site survey which provides high resolution data. 95% of current site surveys are done
by collecting hand drilled cores for examination and analysis. These point sources of data are then used to try to give an impression of the sludge layers, but
the resolution is extremely poor. Contamination may be found, but the volumes cannot be quantified. Contaminated water floors, though probably created in
the past, continue to disperse their pollutants in the water, thus creating a potential effect on the quality of drinking water and recreational water. The market for surveying the European Waterways has been calculated as worth 700 M Euro. The savings realised by using the new combined technologies of this
project are 30% of standard survey costs, while the quality of information provided is far more detailed. Saving in remediation costs would therefore be huge.
Two technologies which are applicable in this field are high resolution shallow seismics, and water-borne, or submerged GeoRadar. The two SME proposers
of this project are leaders in these fields, and as has been shown by the Exploratory Award, the added value of trying to combine the two methods, though technically
challenging, offers the perspectives of a highly advanced environmental technology. This project will use as starting point the results of the Exploratory
Award, and the new combination of GeoRadar and Shallow Seismics will undergo extensive field trials during this project, where needed being optimised to develop
an effective tool in waterway sludge surveys. The relevance of a new, combined technology to the SMEs is clear, as it would help them develop and maintain their
European lead. The project is also relevant to the 5th Framework Environment programme, since it will contribute to the stated aims of securing sustainable
water supplies through the development of innovative tools for characterising pollution sources, monitoring strategies and analysis.
Achieved Objectives:

Product Descriptions:

Additional Information:

Project Resources:

Integrated geophysical techniques for surveying and quantifying potentially polluted sediments in European waterways (GEOWATERS)

Combined interpretation of waterborn seismic and GPR measurements
Funding Programme(s): 
EC Framework Programme 5
Link to Organisations:
Submitted by: EUGRIS Team Prof Paul Bardos  Who does what?  03/07/2003 17:48:00
Updated by: EUGRIS Team Professor Paul Bardos  Who does what?  03/10/2006 11:45:00