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North Sea Wrecks

The North Sea Wrecks project is an EU Interreg North Sea Region-funded research project aimed at investigating the risk of wreck and ammunition in the North Sea. The research consortium consists of partners from countries around the North Sea, including Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway, and Denmark where Department of Geoscience Aarhus University is involved.

The project is based on the North Sea as a Blue Growth area for wind energy, marine raw materials, transport and fisheries as well as recreational activities along the coasts. In connection with such activities and in order to ensure a sustainable development of the North Sea, it is important to understand the risk from the many wrecks and bombs that have been left in the North Sea during the two world Wars. A large part of the North Sea Wrecks project is therefore about collecting new data from selected wrecks, which can be used to shed light on the extent to which the risk is and to develop a risk assessment tool that will be made available to all actors in the North Sea.

In Spring 2020, Department of Geoscience sailed out with the research vessel Aurora to two wrecks in the North Sea. In this context, background samples and geophysical data were collected with both the fixed acoustic equipment on the Aurora and the equipment from SeisLab Aarhus, which was drawn after the ship. Based on Multibeam Bathymetri scans and side-scan sonar data, we have set up models of the two investigated wrecks and sedimentation conditions around them. The new data and results will be included in the risk assessment tool. The project lasts until October 2022.