Understanding the benthic environment requires an understanding of not just the biota, but also the physical environment.
Our team of specialists analyse the physical environment through the use of Particle Size Analysis (PSA). We use the latest technology and our specialist database to process sediment samples, ensuring quality and efficacy for our clients.
Application of PSA
Laser particle size analysis provides information on sediment grain size and distribution – understanding this textural data can help to characterise aspects of the physical environment such as erosion, deposition and transport rates. We also use this data with our knowledge of benthic macroinvertebrate communities to build up a picture of habitat types (biotopes) within the sample area.
Samples, processing and analysis
We collect samples appropriate for PSA testing through our surveys, or receive samples directly from clients.
Samples are analysed according to NMBAQC Scheme Best Practise Guide and we participate in the NMBAQC PSA ring test to ensure the accuracy of the data we produce. Using standard (ISO3310-1/BS410-1) half-phi sieves we grade sediments according to the current specification from Cefas. For analysis of particles of We are able to provide data directly to our clients, and where required provide statistical analysis and data interpretation.
The results of our surveys can be used to assess the development proposals against a range of national and European legislation, including Wildlife and Countryside Act, the EIA Directive, the Habitats Directive, as well as local and national planning policy. Our analytical laboratory is fully equipped for the processing of sediment samples. A specially designed wash room allows for secure work flows and sample integrity.
The analysis of marine macrobenthic samples is a speciality of the Thomson marine team.
We routinely handle large numbers of marine macrobenthic samples and have the capacity to respond to the demands of urgent projects, with the ability to meet short deadlines. In recent years we’ve processed in excess of 1000 benthic samples per year.