Anthropogenic mixing in seasonally stratified shelf seas by offshore wind farm infrastructure

Dorrell, Robert M., Lloyd, Charlie J., Lincoln, Ben J., Rippeth, Tom P., Taylor, John R., Caulfield, Colm-Cille P., Sharples, Jonathan, Polton, Jeff A., Scannell, Brian D., Greaves, Deborah M., Hall, Rob A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3665-6322 and Simpson, John H. (2022) Anthropogenic mixing in seasonally stratified shelf seas by offshore wind farm infrastructure. Frontiers in Marine Science, 9. ISSN 2296-7745

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Abstract

The offshore wind energy sector has rapidly expanded over the past two decades, providing a renewable energy solution for coastal nations. Sector development has been led in Europe, but is growing globally. Most developments to date have been in well-mixed, i.e., unstratified, shallow-waters near to shore. Sector growth is, for the first time, pushing developments to deep water, into a brand new environment: seasonally stratified shelf seas. Seasonally stratified shelf seas, where water density varies with depth, have a disproportionately key role in primary production, marine ecosystem and biogeochemical cycling. Infrastructure will directly mix stratified shelf seas. The magnitude of this mixing, additional to natural background processes, has yet to be fully quantified. If large enough it may erode shelf sea stratification. Therefore, offshore wind growth may destabilize and fundamentally change shelf sea systems. However, enhanced mixing may also positively impact some marine ecosystems. This paper sets the scene for sector development into this new environment, reviews the potential physical and environmental benefits and impacts of large scale industrialization of seasonally stratified shelf seas and identifies areas where research is required to best utilize, manage, and mitigate environmental change.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: RD acknowledges the support of the UK Natural Environment Research Council NE/S014535/1. CL acknowledges the support of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. BL acknowledges the support of the Smart Efficient Energy Centre, Bangor University, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. DG acknowledges the support of the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council EP/S000747/1. JP acknowledges the support of the Natural Environment Research Council Climate Linked Atlantic Sector Science (CLASS) programme.
Uncontrolled Keywords: marine biogeochemistry,offshore wind energy,shelf seas,stratification,turbulent mixing,water science and technology,environmental science (miscellaneous),ocean engineering,aquatic science,oceanography,global and planetary change,sdg 7 - affordable and clean energy,sdg 14 - life below water ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2312
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2022 13:30
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 17:38
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/84223
DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2022.830927

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