Garroch Head Survey (environmental monitoring), Firth of Clyde (1979-)

Data set information

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Data holding centreScottish Association for Marine Science
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
Time periodFrom 1979 onwards
Geographical area

Central Firth of Clyde, west coast of Scotland


Bacteria taxonomic abundance in water bodies; Particulate inorganic carbon concentrations in the water column; Particulate total and organic carbon concentrations in the water column; Dissolved organic carbon concentration in the water column; Dissolved oxygen parameters in the water column; Fish morphology, age and physiology; Fish taxonomy-related abundance per unit area of the bed; Fish disease and parasites; Insect and earthworm taxonomy-related abundance per unit area of the bed; Concentration of polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) in the water column; Salinity of the water column; Redox potential in sediment; Concentration of other organic contaminants in sediment samples; Temperature of the water column; Zoobenthos taxonomic abundance; Concentration of polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) in sediment samples; Bacteria taxonomic abundance in sediment; Alkalinity, acidity and pH of the water column; Concentration of other organic contaminants in the water column; Carbon concentrations in sediment; Fauna abundance per unit area of the bed; Inorganic chemical composition of sediment or rocks


Pelagic trawl nets; sediment grabs; unconsolidated sediment corers


A monitoring survey to assess the comparative condition of the sediments and fauna in the area of the grounds where 1.5x10**6 wet tonnes of sewage sludge are dumped annually. The data collected are used to assess the year on year changes in the physio-chemical conditions and faunal populations in the sediments and bottom waters. The sampling grid is designed to allow comparison of conditions in the centre of the dump site with those at distances of up to 6km N, E, S and W of the centre and at a reference site 10km NE of the centre. The dump site is in an area of relatively low current speed, thus dispersal of the sludge is minimal and strong gradients of effect are discernable in all parameters as distance to the centre decreases. Comparisons over 14 years have shown only minor fluctuations in overall conditions in the area suggesting that carbon inputs are in gross equilibrium with degradation rates in the long term.

OriginatorsScottish Association for Marine Science

Pearson, T.H. (1987) Benthic ecology in an accumulating sludge disposal site. In, Biological Processes and Waste in the Ocean. Oceanic Processes in Marine Pollution, Vol. 1., Capuzzo, J.M. and Kester, D.A.; Pearson, T.H. (1986) Disposal of sewage in dispersive and non-dispersive areas: contrasting case histories in British coastal waters. In, The role of oceans as a waste disposal option: 577-595., Kullenberg, G.; Pearson, T.H. and Blackstock, J. (1992) Review of effects of sea disposal of sludge at Garroch Head, Firth of Clyde., A report to Environmental Management Limited, No SR 42, 15pp.; Pearson, T.H., Cochrane, S., Duncan, J.A.R., Lowe, A. and Pearson, J.R. (1992) Garroch Head Sludge Disposal Ground Survey. Final Report on the monitoring survey carried out between the 20th and 27th May 1992., Report to the Department of Sewerage, Strathclyde Regional Council, No. SR36/SRC4. 58pp, 4 Annexes

OrganisationScottish Association for Marine Science
AvailabilityBy negotiation
ContactPolly Hadžiabdić (Head of the BODC Requests Team)

British Oceanographic Data Centre
Joseph Proudman Building 6 Brownlow Street
L3 5DA
United Kingdom

Telephone+44 (0)782 512 0946
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1049018
Global identifier657
Last revised2010-11-22