Marine Sediment Analysis

For harbours, ports, marinas, moorings, lakes & lochs.

Sector: Aquaculture,   The Environment

The contamination of Marine Sediment is a major environmental issue.

A large variety of contaminants from marine and industrial sources are associated with sediment contamination including heavy metals and persistent organics (e.g. PAH’s and PCBs).  To control potential contamination in Scotland, many activities require prior marine license consent from the Marine Scotland, Licensing Operations Team (MS-LOT).  

These include:

•    Dredging of the sea bed
•    Construction, alteration or improvement works
•    Deposit of substances or objects into the sea or onto the sea bed
•    Removal of substances or objects from the sea bed

MarinaAnalysis is required for:

Dredged Material

Maintenance and construction in harbours and rivers requires the removal of sediments by dredging and the subsequent disposal of the dredged material.  Prior to licencing and disposal, material must be analysed for contaminants. 

Harbour/Open Sea Construction

Prior to the disturbance of soil or sediment, analysis must be undertaken to determine levels of contamination within this material and the potential impact this could have on surrounding water, construction materials and landfill.

James Hutton Limited can help with:

Sampling & Analysis Plan

Our in-house statisticians can:

  • Create an accurate chart of the dredge area and sample  locations
  • Provide details  of sample types and suggested sampling methodology
  • Recommend the number of samples to be taken

Assessment of Material

A thorough investigation by expert soil analysts:

  • Assess results against Marine Scotland action levels (AL1 & AL2)

Monitoring & Reporting

Support from globally respected scientists:

  • Complete in-dredge and post dredge monitoring as required by licence 
  • Provide reports of monitoring to MS-LOT
  • Submit returns detailing amounts dredged to MS-LOT

The analytical solutions provided by James Hutton Limited are unique to each customer, based on their specific requirements.  We take pride in being world-leading experts, integrating techniques to find the solutions that businesses need; quickly, independently and with unrivalled accuracy.  

To find out more, please contact us in complete confidence.


The James Hutton Institute analytical laboratories operate to the standards required by UKAS accreditation and many of our routine techniques are accredited.  A full accreditation schedule can be found at

Our ability to perform a huge variety of techniques means that in general a one-off analysis may not be accredited but our total commitment to high standards ensures it will be carried out to the exacting specifications that accreditation requires.

Contact us for further information. 

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