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Technology Options Tested on the German Coast for Addressing a Munitions Hot Spot In Situ

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Abstract

Conventional and chemical munitions dumpsites exist in practically every ocean and a significant number of inland waters. Most of these dumpsites result from post‐World War activities when victorious and defeated states had to dispose of their sizable surplus stocks of munitions, including the difficult-to-handle chemical warfare agents such as mustard, phosgene and nerve agents.

The Baltic Sea—with maximum water depths of about 150 m at the dumpsites—seemed to be the easiest way to address the problematic munitions. These activities deposited up to about 300,000 tons of chemical munitions in the Baltic Sea and Skagerrak region, with experts assuming at least another 100,000 tons of conventional munitions in the Baltic Sea alone.

Today, these dumpsites are a threat to present and future generations. German authorities addressed some sites because of an immediate threat to the public. This required — based on the sensitivity of the resident and threatened harbour porpoise — a paradigm shift detonation of conventional munitions to an intense investigation of innovative alternatives. The common and innovative alternative solutions considered for the German Baltic Sea coast are presented.
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Keywords: Baltic Sea; Dumpsite; Munitions; Remediation; Threat

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-09-01

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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