Why are items of Unexploded Ordnance so frequently washed up on beaches?
The factors that govern the migration of marine UXO are not well understood. One research team in the USA is attempting to change that.
Over the past 15 years US scientists have been tracking the progress and burial state of fake UXO items in shallow marine environments.
By adding sensors to objects with densities and shapes similar to UXO, data on environmental conditions cab be analysed. Their goal; to better predict where historic munitions from WWII offshore bombing ranges will concentrate decades later. Areas of population at risk from migrating UXO, can be targeted with cost effective remediation works.
An interview with one of the research team can be found here. This interesting piece shines a light on the issue of historic weapons ranges and their hazardous legacy.
Detailed Risk Assessment
The effect the sea has on marine UXO at a given location can clearly be significant and therefore requires analysis. In addition, coastlines the world over have complex military histories, which in some cases results in complex UXO contamination situations. Consequently, Brimstone Site Investigation would always recommend a Detailed UXO Risk Assessment be carried out prior to any coastal engineering works.
Long stretches of British coastline were fortified during WWII, in response to the anticipated German invasion. This creates a unique hazard, mainly concentrated in southern and eastern England.