The aims of the report are to provide guidelines for planning and execution of offshore aggregate resource surveys, encourage adoption of long-term planning, surveying and monitoring methods and encourage environmentally sensitive and sustainable methods of offshore sand and gravel extraction.
The report is written with a geological bias. The environments in which sand and gravel can accumulate are described and examples of deposits which have been exploited are given from areas such as Hong Kong and Europe. Offshore exploration for aggregates is expensive and thorough planning during the initial exploration and evaluation phase of any operation can provide the basis for successful exploitation of the resources. Geophysical survey, drilling and sampling methods used during initial site investigations are described along with the techniques for interpreting the data obtained.
Once potential resources have been located the methods of exploitation, the economics of exploitation and also the environmental impact of exploitation have to be assessed before the resource is dredged. Dredging methods and the estimation of reserves from a dredging perspective are included. The latter is an important criteria in estimating the economic viability of potential resources.
The manual is designed as a contribution to improving exploration and licensing methodologies for offshore sand and gravel and promoting effective resource extraction allied to sound environmental standards.
A full colour (11 534 kb) or black and white (11 100 kb) PDF version of this manual can be downloaded.