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Earth System Science Data The data publishing journal
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Volume 10, issue 1
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 109-130, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-10-109-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 109-130, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-10-109-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Review article 23 Jan 2018

Review article | 23 Jan 2018

A synthetic map of the north-west European Shelf sedimentary environment for applications in marine science

Robert J. Wilson, Douglas C. Speirs, Alessandro Sabatino, and Michael R. Heath Robert J. Wilson et al.
  • 812 Livingstone Tower, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Strathclyde, 26 Richmond Street, Glasgow G1 1XH, UK

Abstract. Seabed sediment mapping is important for a wide range of marine policy, planning and scientific issues, and there has been considerable national and international investment around the world in the collation and synthesis of sediment datasets. However, in Europe at least, much of this effort has been directed towards seabed classification and mapping of discrete habitats. Scientific users often have to resort to reverse engineering these classifications to recover continuous variables, such as mud content and median grain size, that are required for many ecological and biophysical studies. Here we present a new set of 0.125° by 0.125° resolution synthetic maps of continuous properties of the north-west European sedimentary environment, extending from the Bay of Biscay to the northern limits of the North Sea and the Faroe Islands. The maps are a blend of gridded survey data, statistically modelled values based on distributions of bed shear stress due to tidal currents and waves, and bathymetric properties. Recent work has shown that statistical models can predict sediment composition in British waters and the North Sea with high accuracy, and here we extend this to the entire shelf and to the mapping of other key seabed parameters. The maps include percentage compositions of mud, sand and gravel; porosity and permeability; median grain size of the whole sediment and of the sand and the gravel fractions; carbon and nitrogen content of sediments; percentage of seabed area covered by rock; mean and maximum depth-averaged tidal velocity and wave orbital velocity at the seabed; and mean monthly natural disturbance rates. A number of applications for these maps exist, including species distribution modelling and the more accurate representation of sea-floor biogeochemistry in ecosystem models. The data products are available from https://doi.org/10.15129/1e27b806-1eae-494d-83b5-a5f4792c46fc.

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We provide new maps of the sedimentary environment in the north-west European Continental Shelf. Maps are blended products of interpolated field estimates and statistical predictions. Data products include mud, sand and gravel percentages, median grain sizes, rock cover, carbon and nitrogen content, porosity and permeability, wave and tidal velocities, and natural disturbance rates. These maps can be used in applications such as species distribution modelling and ecosystem modelling.
We provide new maps of the sedimentary environment in the north-west European Continental Shelf....
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