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Page 2 - The Severn estuary study site - references

The study site
Since 1980 fish and crustacean samples have been collected from the cooling water filter screens at Hinkley Point 'B' power station, situated on the southern bank of the Bristol Channel in Somerset, England. The power station intakes are placed in front of a rocky promontory within Bridgwater Bay.

The Severn estuary is Britain's second largest estuary with an area of 557 square kilometres including an intertidal area of 100 square kilometres. When its seaward extension, the Bristol Channel, is included the intertidal habitat reaches 200 square kilometres. It is ecologically appropriate to consider the two as a single unit. This region has an exceptional tidal range of up to 14.5 m resulting in strong currents which suspend large quantities of silt through which little light can pass. This great range is also responsible for the large intertidal areas. These conditions make fishing difficult and little commercial exploitation occurs apart from a small stake-net fishery on the Stolford flats. The study area of Bridgwater Bay is on the southern shore of the estuary near the mouth of the River Parret. Hinkley Point power station intakes are at the western end of the 18 kilometre-square Stert and Berrow intertidal flats. The point is an area of intercalated shale, slate and limestone that has been eroded into a series of ridges parallel to the shore. The sublittoral substrate is highly mobile, nearly liquid mud with some areas of sand waves and isolated reefs of agglomerated Sabellaria worm tubes. The intertidal area is firmer sandy mud. At Hinkley Point, between 1980 and 1996, the salinity ranged from 22 to 33 parts per thousand (ppt), depending on the freshwater flow from the rivers, and the sea-temperature from 2 to 23° C.

Pisces holds a large library of reports and papers on the effects of power plants. Much of the grey literature is almost impossible to obtain from libraries and we offer a reprint and photocopying service - visit www.powerstationeffects.co.uk for more details.

Read the report of data from 2000 - 2001 or download more recent reports


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