Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)

Oxygenization of sea floor tested in coastal waters of the western Finland

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Source: Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)

A joint Nordic three-year research project will show whether pumping of oxygen-rich surface water down to the bottom-near water layer can improve the state of coastal water that suffer from oxygen depletion. In anoxic conditions, nutrients stored in the bottom sediment, particularly phosphorus, are released into water. The Finnish research site is the Sandöfjärden water area in the western part of the Gulf of Finland. The joint Nordic research project is coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) whereas the main financer is the Swedish environmental protection agency (Naturvårdsverket).
Oxygenization will also be tested in a bay 10 km from Stockholm. The results from Finland and Sweden will be compared. Based on the experiments at the coast and the laboratory analyses, a model study will be carried out. The objective is to find out whether oxygenization is a relevant method to control eutrophication in a larger scale, even in open sea areas, and how cost-efficient this method would be. 

The objective of the field experiments is to find out how much the pumping of water will improve the state of benthic water and how much the phosphorus storage capacity of the bottom sediment could be improved. The pumping devices will be mounted in the deep part of Sandöfjärden in June. The state of sea floor and benthos will be monitored by continuous automatic measurements as well as by traditional sampling and laboratory analyses.

The Finnish partners of SYKE in this project are the University of Helsinki, Jaakko Pöyry Oy and Vesi-Eko Oy. The Swedish partner is the city of Stockholm. The Danish participant is the National Environmental Research Institute NERI and ECON Pöyry A/S from Norge.

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