Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund)

The Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme

The authors are solely responsible for the content of this report. Material included herein does not represent the opinion of the European Community, and the European Community is not responsible for any use that might be made of it.
Back to overview reports

Analysis of the TIDE Estuarine Conflict Matrices

7a. Spatial Conflict Variation

Although the process has allowed inter estuarine comparisons to be made and typologies to be established, the conflict matrix analysis has also identified that in most instances the spatial distribution of these interactions was variable both at an inter and intra estuarine scale.

The analysis of use levels and interactions with salinity zonation from the TIDE estuaries did not identify any strong correlations, suggesting that whilst salinity can be an important factor in determining ecological functions within an estuary, other factors will also influence a range of uses and thus conflict scenarios.

For instance, the Humber in particular showed considerable dissimilarity in terms of use levels and conflict interactions compared to the other TIDE estuaries, with reduced conflict levels arising from navigation related issues on Natura 2000 protection requirements and vice versa.

This atypical outcome in relation to ports services and conservation protection needs is considered primarily due to the positioning of the main ports industry on the Humber, compared to the other estuaries, with the Humber’s main port industry proportionally closer to the mouth of the estuary than the other TIDE estuaries. This is reduction in conflict level is assisted by natural processes maintaining navigation depth in most reaches of the estuary and tributaries but within an adaptive channel buoyage process whereby changes in channel position are monitored and the fairway alignment altered accordingly.

Back to top