Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 69, Issue 4, pp 475–487 | Cite as

The relative impact of future storminess versus offshore dredging on suspended sediment concentration in a shallow coastal embayment: Rødsand lagoon, western Baltic Sea

  • Pernille Louise ForsbergEmail author
  • Ulrik Lumborg
  • Thorbjørn Joest Andersen
  • Aart Kroon
  • Verner Brandbyge Ernstsen
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on the 14th International Conference on Cohesive Sediment Transport in Montevideo, Uruguay 13-17 November 2017


Natural and human-induced disturbances challenge the resilience of coastal ecosystems. The relative impact of a projected increase in storm intensity versus a temporary sediment spill from the construction of the planned Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link on the suspended sediment concentrations was estimated in the shallow coastal embayment of Rødsand lagoon. The investigations were performed through a combination of field observations and numerical modeling. The numerical model was calibrated and validated with the field observations. The lagoonal response to a regional increase in wind speed showed temporarily amplified suspended particulate matter concentration (SPMC) levels (26–37%) and amplified exceedance duration above wash load (30–32%) in the entire lagoon, but especially in the shallow regions. The lagoonal response to a sediment spill outside Rødsand lagoon showed temporarily amplified SPMC levels (2–4%) and amplified exceedance duration above wash load (1–2%) in the entire lagoon, but especially in the regions in close proximity to the spill source. The regional response to increasing wind speed was thus 10-fold larger than the sediment spill where only advective sediment transport took place. This highlights the importance of the internal lagoonal processes as opposed to exterior disturbances. The study contributed to an improved understanding of the potential natural and human-induced stressors on the sediment dynamics in lagoonal ecosystems.


System disturbance response Climate change Sediment spill Sediment dynamics Ecosystem Benthic vegetation 



The authors would like to acknowledge Bjarne Holm Jakobsen, Nils Drønen, Arnaud Doré, and Martin Taaning for constructive discussions during the preparation of this manuscript. The study was carried out within the collaborative research project “SEDILINK—Flow circulation and sediment dynamics in a non-tidal coastal lagoonal system—Rødsand lagoon, Denmark” co-funded by the University of Copenhagen, DHI, and Femern A/S and the research project “Storm impacts on coastal and shallow marine environments” funded by the Velux Foundations.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource ManagementUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.DHIHørsholmDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Marine GeologyGeological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)AarhusDenmark

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