In the light of the obvious need for a new modern stage of investigations, the latest generation of detailed geological and geoecological (environmental) maps of the Gulf of Finland has been completed as a base for monitoring control.
Recent activities are aimed at creating an MEP web site for a web-based spatial data, knowledge, and ideas representations to present the results of annual investigations and monitoring changes, and to increase international cooperation around the most vital areas of environmental violation of the Baltic Sea bottom.
The MEP monitoring contains evaluation, control and forecast of the development of the geoecological (environmental - geological) state of the marine basin, using special set of tests by geomorphological, sedimentological, geochemical, engineer geological, landscape and other criteria. All analysis have been always performed using unified standard and high precision, with tracing and control of the most typical conditions of bottom sedimentation related to the accumulation and migration of such pollutants, like heavy metals, oil-products, radio-nuclides, or biological active substance. Processes of the bottom morphodynamic, and landscape changes were taken under measurement control, if they have been considered as noticeable to the environment. Observations using submersibles were used together with environmental-geological, geophysical, hydro physical and hydro biological complex investigations on board of the research vessel.
Finding, mapping and precise examinations of areas, where the chemical ammunition (bombs and shells) was dumped in the Baltic Sea, can be mentioned among the most important practical results of the MEP.
The creation of the new updated generation of maps covering numerous different aspects of the geology and environmental geology of the Eastern part of the Gulf of Finland is the first short step of conception of joining the MEP with the interactive "Baltic Sea Map Library" (BSML) with permanently updating and further distributed environment via the World Wide Web. Maps, most important data and explanations are prepared for different users, so that it would be possible to choose the level of complexity to inform about the environmental changes not only professionals, but the community.
The illustration above shows raster of more clear general geoecological
(environmental geological) map, where most dangerous areas are blinking,
and different types of hatchures indicate one or other pollution type or
special sedimentation zones. Users would be able to read supposed degree
of risk and kind of danger by clicking on map areas.
On the other hand, special professional maps and databases are planned to locate separately. For example, fragments of such maps (originally produced using the MapViewer and Didger packages of the Golden Software Corporation) are shown below.
Different Java-based and other types of arrangements are tested to obtain the most simple and fast data access, even using slow modem connection.
Major spatial data are prepared in .shp, .mif, .bna, .gsb, .dxf formats to enable downloading and offline work in different GIS software packages either.
It is planned to use all possible ways of communications to open scientific discussions and to get feedback from people of the Baltic region in the form of information of the known cases and possible areas of the environmental violation, or on-line voting to choose priority tasks, etc.
We hope that a web-based data arrangement with the results of annual investigations and monitoring changes, as well as knowledge exchange, and ideas representations will increase international co-operation around the most vital areas of environmental violation of the Baltic Sea bottom.