A consortium, consisting of Wintershall Holding GmbH, GdF Suez, RWE Dea and EWE AG, is planning an exploration well in block B11-5, located within the Doggerbank (N2000 area). In order to assess any effect from this activity on the biological, physical and chemical properties of the seafloor Wintershall Noordzee BV asked IMARES to perform a baseline study prior to the drilling activities. In this baseline study the following environmental elements are included; seafloor texture and presence of any structures (including stones and boulders), the physical (grain size and organic content), chemical (oil and metal content) and biological (abundance and structure of benthic species) properties of the sediment. At 29 stations located at different angles and distances of the drill site, sediment samples were taken and video recordings of the seafloor made. In an area of 2000 x 2000 m around the centre, side scan sonar footage were made as well.
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