Sediments analysis

With over 20 years of experience in marine sediment analysis, we produce high-quality and accurate data for our clients, helping them to gather key information on the condition of their marine environment.


RPS supports environmental pre and post operational surveys, dredging operations and planning surveys. Our expertise in sediment analysis conducted in state-of-the-art laboratory settings, plays an important role in ensuring that the quality of our survey results can be relied upon for regulatory requirements.

Our team have over 20 years of experience in analysing trace levels of pollutants in the context of the marine benthic environment. We employ the right techniques required to guarantee the production of reliable and fully quality assured data. We take part in the following marine quality assurance schemes and operate to Oslo and Paris Commission (OSPAR) and the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) guidelines:

  • Quality Assurance of Information for Marine Environmental Monitoring in Europe performance testing scheme (QUASIMEME)
  • NE Atlantic Marine Biological Analytical Quality Control Scheme (NMBAQC)
  • NORMAN network


To ensure environmental compliance and licensing requirements RPS offer UKAS-accredited methods of analysis for sediments. We hold Marine Monitoring Organisation (MMO) validated methods for sediment analysis. Our methods and data outputs also meet the requirements of the Marine Scotland Act and Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales specifications.



boat dredging

Pre and post operational survey

We can provided detailed trace analysis for marine sediments collected from the sea bed. This can support baseline surveys or Environmental Impact Assessments used for planning and installing new structures, as well as providing analysis of sediments and discharge waters during asset life and finally at the decommissioning and post operation survey stage.

Our sediment analysis

  • Alkylphenols, Alkylphenol ethoxylates
  • Bioavailable heavy metals by 50% Nitric Acid digest
  • Biocides
  • BTEX, VOCs, petrol range organics
  • Carbonate content
  • Dry solids and moisture content at 105°C
  • Heavy metals by Partial Aqua Regia digest
  • Heavy metals by Total HF digest
  • ICP-MS and CVAFS analysis to meet the requirements for the characterisation of dredge material for disposal at sea
  • Loss on ignition
  • Oil in Water (GC-FID or FTIR)
  • Organochlorine Pesticides by GC-MS
  • Organotin compounds (TBT, DBT, MBT)
  • PAHs EPA16 and alkylated 2-6 ring by GC-MS
  • Particle Size Analysis (PSA) via wet and dry sieving and laser diffraction (NMBAQC method)
  • PCBs including EN25, WHO12, IC7 and MMO 25 congeners
  • Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)
  • Sediment density
  • SVOCs by GC-MS
  • Total Hydrocarbon Content (by UVF or GC-FID with UCM and n-alkane speciation)
  • Total Organic Carbon by combustion and Infra-Red detection



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Our accreditations and performance testing screens

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