The Application of a Geographical Information System to Resource Management—The UK Offshore Sand and Gravel Case

by Arthur Evans, Posford Duvivier, Haywards Heath, United Kingdom,
Trevor Giddings, Posford Duvivier, Haywards Heath, United Kingdom,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


In the United Kingdom coastal and offshore environments, the extraction of sand and gravel from the seabed requires a high level of professional management, because of the varied and often mutually exclusive interests of maritime operators and users of the sea bed. The dredged aggregate material is used for a wide variety of products including construction aggregate, reclamation fill and beach nourishment material. However the complexities of effectively managing its extraction are compounded by the large amounts of data required for accurate offshore planning and the difficulties of evaluating often extremely variable deposits, tens of metres below the sea surface. This paper begins by broadly describing the nature of the UK offshore dredging industry. The role of Posford Duvivier as managing agents offshore for the Crown Estate is then explained. The Crown Estate are owners of the UK sea bed and control sand and gravel mineral rights. The Geographical Information System (GIS) technology developed on behalf of the Crown Estate to manage their offshore assets is reported. The database places the Crown Estate as a World leader in marine resource management computer systems. The GIS system is undergoing continuous development and, as a final point, details of further applications of GIS in the offshore and coastal environments are given.

Subject Headings: Information systems | Systems management | Resource management | Dredged materials | Construction materials | Geographic information systems | Information management | Sand (hydraulic) | United Kingdom | Europe

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