The sea bed is a major and important part of marine ecosystems. It represents the habitat for benthic plants and animals, and many animals living in the free body of water seek their food here. It also serves as a sink or source of the nutrients and environmental toxins that we release and that ultimately enter the sea. In this way, the sea bed has a direct influence on the concentrations of these substances in the marine environment, that is in the body of water and in plants and animals.

Knowledge of the physical characteristics of the sea bed play an important part in the physical planning of the sea. It largely determines where marine installations, such as wind turbines and cables, can be located and the conditions for extracting raw materials such as sand and minerals.

SGU surveys

SGU surveys and gathers knowledge about the sea bed and its structure. Knowledge of the sea bed's physical characteristics, status, processes, content of environmental toxins and nutrients, and an understanding of the factors that affect it, play an important part in the work to map the environment and the conditions for blue growth in and around the Baltic Sea. Blue Growth is the name of a long-term strategy, produced by the European Commission to support growth throughout Europe's maritime sector.

SGU's information includes:

  • the distribution of different sea bed materials,
  • sediment dynamic conditions (erosion, transport and deposition of different types of sea bed materials),
  • the marine pollution situation over time,
  • survey methodology and survey equipment,
  • dredging and dumping (including effects on the geological environment),
  • the extraction of sea bed materials (including effects),
  • the laying of marine cables and pipelines (including effects).

SGU works with:

  • Support for planning and management
  • Data hosting sediments and environmental monitoring
  • Act on the Continental Shelf – permits and supervision
  • Contaminated sediments
  • Marine installations