Hanson Aggregates Marine Ltd & Lafarge Tarmac Marine Ltd
Maritime Archaeology Ltd was commissioned to carry out archaeological assessment on the impact of ongoing aggregate extraction on behalf of Hanson Aggregates Marine Ltd and Lafarge Tarmac Marine Ltd for their dredging region, approximately 11km to the southwest of Shoreham, Sussex. Our investigations are part of a biennial programme of monitoring to support responsible extraction, and have been in place since dredging of the area began in 2005.
The project was started thanks to Marine Space Ltd, but today all four companies work collaboratively to maximise expertise. We aim to work very closely with our clients to streamline often complex archaeological reporting to tailor it for their needs. This constant re-evaluation on this long term monitoring project has resulted in a far more accessible reporting process for the aggregate industry, removing unnecessary complexity and presenting clear information aligned to the rapidity of this sector.
We recommended at outset to our clients that specific study focus be on the use of geophysical data to identify the potential impact of dredging on the seabed, and of any archaeological material that may be present, such as shipwrecks or aircraft crash sites. At each investigation side scan sonar data is assessed and supported by multibeam bathymetry, which is then processed and examined by our experienced maritime archaeologists.
Following each assessment, features of archaeological significance are identified and compared to previous monitoring surveys. This allows us to advise our clients the extent to which archaeology may be impacted by dredging, and the significance of any impact. This information is then used to recommend mitigation measures.
At the last inspection Maritime Archaeology Ltd recommended maintaining the exclusion zone around one major feature, identified as the known shipwreck SS Concha. This was in addition to a number of smaller features of medium potential. There were no specific mitigation measures recommended for features of low potential, but it is important that they were recorded to inform future work, and to ensure that the industry can keep dredging responsibly.
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