Saltmarshes vital in protecting the sea

February 6, 1998

The vital role of saltmarshes in preventing manmade pollutants from reaching the sea is being studied by Cardiff University earth scientists who warn that global warming could spell disaster for marine environments. Adrian Cramp, of the university's earth science department, says that global warming and associated sea level rise could lead to the loss of many saltmarshes around northwest Europe. Saltmarshes perform a vital role in controlling the movement of manmade contaminants into the sea.

The Cardiff scientists are now trying to understand more precisely the processes by which contaminants are cycled through saltmarsh sediment and are investigating, under controlled conditions, the rate of saltmarsh erosion and thus contaminant release.

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