Institute of Coastal Research

Biogeochemistry in Coastal Seas

In shallow shelf seas like the North Sea or the Baltic Sea, important ecosystem functions occur at the sea floor. Sediments at the seafloor interact with the overlying water and regulate the cycles of matter, sequester pollutants and providing habitats for marine flora and fauna. They are also archives for reconstructions of past environmental conditions.

Within the division “Biogeochemistry in Coastal Seas” several departments investigate the sinks, sources, dispersion and fate of pollutants in the atmosphere and in marine and coastal waters. We study biogeochemical processes in shelf seas sediments and estuaries, quantify sediment water interaction and assess the role of sediments in the cycling of nutrients, organic matter and organic and inorganic pollutants. State-of-the-art sampling tools, analytical instruments and numerical models support work on local (estuaries), regional (shelf sea systems) and global scales in the departments