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1 April 2007 Improvement of Baltic Proper Water Quality Using Large-scale Ecological Engineering
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Abstract

Eutrophication of the Baltic proper has led to impaired water quality, demonstrated by, e.g., extensive blooming of cyanobacteria during the premium summer holiday season and severe oxygen deficit in the deepwater. Sustainable improvements in water quality by the reduction of phosphorus (P) supplies will take several decades before giving full effects because of large P storages both in soils in the watershed and in the water column and bottom sediments of the Baltic proper. In this article it is shown that drastically improved water quality may be obtained within a few years using large-scale ecological engineering methods. Natural variations in the Baltic proper during the last decades have demonstrated how rapid improvements may be achieved. The present article describes the basic dynamics of P, organic matter, and oxygen in the Baltic proper. It also briefly discusses the advantages and disadvantages of different classes of methods of ecological engineering aimed at restoring the Baltic proper from eutrophication effects. Preliminary computations show that the P content might be halved within a few years if about 100 kg O2 s−1 are supplied to the upper deepwater. This would require 100 pump stations, each transporting about 100 m3 s−1 of oxygen-rich so-called winter water from about 50 to 125 m depth where the water is released as a buoyant jet. Each pump station needs a power supply of 0.6 MW. Offshore wind power technology seems mature enough to provide the power needed by the pump stations. The cost to install 100 wind-powered pump stations, each with 0.6 MW power, at about 125-m depth is about 200 million Euros.

Anders Stigebrandt and Bo G. Gustafsson "Improvement of Baltic Proper Water Quality Using Large-scale Ecological Engineering," AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment 36(2), (1 April 2007). https://doi.org/10.1579/0044-7447(2007)36[280:IOBPWQ]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 April 2007
JOURNAL ARTICLE
7 PAGES

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