The three areas comprise sandbanks and stony reefs that rise from the floor of the North Sea. These areas are the objects of current investigations and are of considerable research interest. They are also of interest from a marine archaeological viewpoint.
All three areas are being studied to describe the types of nature that they represent and the related fauna and flora.
The sandbanks that have been nominated as a habitat area are located in the North Sea about 10 km west of the opening of Limfjord to the sea and cover about 63 km2. The area has been selected to protect the marine nature type “sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time” of which there are 3-4 examples in the area. The sandbanks lie at 16-20 m below sea level and contain segments of clay-rich sediments.
This has ben nominated as a habitat area and is located in the North Sea about 2 km west of Nissum Fjord; it covers an area of almost 64 km2. The area has been nominated because it represents the marine nature type “sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time” and consists of several distinct sandbanks at depths between 10 and 20 m. The sandbanks occupy an area of about 20 km2.
Thyborøn Stony reef is a habitat area nominated in 2010 and is located about 20 km west of Thyborøn. The stony reefs on the sea floor are quite steep and contain a rich fauna. The depth in the vicinity varies between 25 and 40 m and the reefs are in the shallower portions at 21-24 m depth. The reefs have a series of stony peaks that reach up to 8 m above the sea floor. The area is subject to considerable wave activity and sandy areas are characterised by impressive ripple marks. The area covers a total of 78 km2.