A Fire Under the Sea

A Fire Under the Sea



A Fire Under the Sea


Welcome to the sandbanks kingdom! The Belgian Continental Shelf (Southern Bight of the North Sea) is a very shallow area (maximum depth ~ 50 m) characterized by numerous sandbanks. These imposing longitudinal structures (twenty kilometers long, one to two kilometers wide and 10 to 20 meters high) are shaped by a wide range of sand dunes and are separated by channels often covered by gravel fields.

The NW flank of the Oosthinder bank shows an alignment of very large “barchanoid” dunes that stretch into the channel. These large majestic dunes evoke flames rising into a stormy sky.

This image is dedicated to our colleague Jean-Sébastien Houziaux (09/05/1970 – † 15/06/2012).

Depth range
15 m (from 20 m to 35 m MLLWS)
51° 24.6489’, 2° 31.2872’
UTM zone 31 N / WGS84
Data acquisition
Service Continental Shelf – FPS Economy
Survey year
Gravel fields: multidisciplinary approach to habitat characterization and mapping
Acoustic system
Kongsberg EM3002D multibeam echosounder
Acoustic data processing software
Kongsberg Neptune
Grid resolution
1 x 1 m
Image production
Marc Roche & Koen Degrendele, Service Continental Shelf – FPS Economy, Fledermaus Pro from QPS
Image caption
Service Continental Shelf – FPS Economy
RV Belgica