ICZM - Integrated Coastal Zone Management

The coastal zone is often under heavy stress. Physical processes of erosion and sedimentation affect it, pollutants are spreading in the environment, and Man has ever higher requirements for using the coastal zone for economic activities as well as recreation.

The basis for a sustainable management of the coastal zone and its resources, is an in-depth understanding of the environment itself. This includes the physical environment, biology, chemistry, social and economical factors, all in a spatial perspective provided by geography. In rather virgin areas, we can take the lead or carry out the project ourselves. In more complex cases, we cooperate with others.

Erosion and sedimentation are also a frequent concern in the marine environment and in larger lakes. While studies of beaches are common-place, we have a rather unique expertise in studying the coastal zone in a broader perspective, focusing on the coast rather than the beach, and including also the offshore areas that are too often neglected in beach studies.

We Offer...

Integrated studies of delta degradation
Studies of beach erosion and pollution
Integrated studies of estuaries, lagoons and wetlands
Studies of fine sediment dynamics and nutrients
Studies of pollutant transport, dispersal, and deposition
Studies of harbour and navigation channel siltation
Studies of nearshore sand erosion, transport, and deposition
Studies of other under-water geomorphologic processes
Creation of Geographic Information Systems
Coordination and project leading of ICZM projects
Complete Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan

River - delta - mangrove - coast

State-of-the-Art Tools and Methods

Acoustic survey methods X-ray sediment analysis
Nutrient flux modelling Sedimeter measurements
Mapping sediment pollutants Geomorphologic mapping
Geostatistics Environmental audit
The Sedimeter instrument

Sediment and morphology mapping

The side scan sonar data can be processed in a computer to form a mosaic of the bottom. Sediment samples, cores, and sub-bottom profiles are used as complements in the interpretation. Sonar maps provide a wealth of information, but a skilled interpreter is needed for the analysis. Our sonar expert has over 15 years of experience from working with rectifying side scan sonar, in a wide range of climates and environments.

A side scan sonar mosaic is invaluable in interpreting the sediment dynamics of an area. It greatly facilitates a correct interpretation by revealing the spatial variability of key variables, such as grain size, gas content, bedrock exposures, patches of temporarily deposited organic sediments, and turbidity current routes.

The morphological mapping also provides information needed for the identification of areas with slope instabilities and under-water screes, conditions that pose a threat to underwater installations such as cables, pipelines, and oil plattforms. Furthermore, features such as wrecks, cables, and pipelines, can be mapped.

Mapping sediment properties

Combined with a sediment map based on sonographs, an "intelligently" interpolated pollution map can be created, thus eliminating two sources of uncertainty that is inherent in "traditional" sediment pollution studies: Sampling of stratigraphic units with differing history, and interpolating over bottom areas with differing conditions. The result is a state-of-the-art sediment property map.

Nutrient flux modelling

Understanding particle flux is critical to describing organic matter and nutrient cycling in aquatic ecosystems. We have hands-on experience with sampling, using e.g. multitraps, as well as with the modeling necessary for distinguishing between primary and resuspended vertical flux. An assessment of environmental impact of e.g. eutrophication, climate and fishery is then made using sensitivity analyses.


GIS is not just about graphics. We also have the computational requirements and the skills for statistically estimating the range of spatial interdependence between sampling points (variogram modeling) and thus for arriving at optimal interpolation and mapping of spatial estimate variance.

Environmental audits

We bring environmental science into your industrial plant! In order to contribute to e.g. a life-cycle assessment, we will help translating an EIA into a format suitable for planning cleaner production. Here, we use Technical Environmental Assessment as a general and flexible analytical tool.

Example: Sewage from Göteborg, Sweden

For ten years Hydroconsult was assigned to monitor the environmental effects of the sewage disposed from the city of Göteborg (Gothenburg).

We Offer Solutions - Not Just Data