Sublittoral meiofauna of 24 stations was monitored over 4 years (1984-1987) in and around a dumping site for TiO2- acid waste in the Southern Bight of the North Sea off the Dutch coast. The meiofauna was examined quantitatively and qualitatively with special reference to the nematode and the copepod community structure down to species level and to the trophic structure of the nematodes. Biological, sedimentological, geographical parameters and the concentration of several heavy metals were subject to multivariate statistical analysis and classification techniques to evaluate the impact of the TiO2- dumping activities. The meiofauna is dominated by nematodes, copepods, gastrotrichs and turbellarians. There is a difference of 4% between the nematodes and copepods: the dumping area being characterized by 76% abundance of nematodes and 12% copepods in comparison with 72% nematodes and 16% copepods in the reference area. The meiofauna community, and the nematode and copepod communities in particular, are very diverse in this area. The diversity of the copepod community, described by a k-dominance curve, is distinctly lower in the dumping area than in the reference area. For several structural community parameters (such as density, diversity, biomass, trophic structure) opposite relationships are found between the years of investigation. Higher amounts of silt and the concentrations of 8 contaminants in the sediment had a reducing influence on the diversity of the nematodes, while higher amounts of gravel had a reducing effect on the diversity of the copepods. The diversity of the latter was positively correlated with the density of the copepod community and with the diversity of the nematodes.