Institute of Coastal Research
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Unlocking the Secret of Waves

Wave dynamics are yet to be truly understood because their movement is so rapid and complex. Physicist Marc Buckley from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht now utilises a watertight laser system to, in a sense, freeze the movement of waves to discover how wind energy is transformed into wave motion. From the results, he hopes to gain important insights into how hurricanes are formed and uncover information that can be used to optimise mathematical climate models. more

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Nitrogen Cycle in Coastal Waters

Nitrogen compounds are an important factor in the production of algal biomass. The team led by biologist Kirstin Dähnke from the Institute of Coastal Research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht has been carrying out extensive Elbe nitrogen measurements for this reason. more

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Time Lapse of the Sea

The North and Baltic Seas are habitats that are always changing over the course of time—such changes are also occurring even today. Currents, temperatures and winds change and with them the living conditions for sea animals and plants. To understand how intense this variability is and how it is triggered, researchers from the Institute of Coastal Research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG) have run a sixty-year computer simulation for the first time for the North and Baltic Seas. The results are, in part, astonishing and not least vital in understanding the consequences of climate change. more

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Silent Eddy Hunters

Large regions with wind parks have been cropping up in the German North Sea for several years. The foundation structures work like gigantic mixing rods that swirl the tidal current. Using underwater gliders, researchers from the Institute of Coastal Research now measure the strength of the turbulence so that they can assess consequences of offshore wind energy development on biological and chemical processes in the sea. more

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Three elements in one sweep

Where does the sediment in the Wadden Sea and the silt in the harbour of Hamburg come from? How are pollutants in the environment distributed? Questions like these can, for example, be answered today though chemically analysing trace elements in sediment or water samples. These methods, however, are still often very time-consuming because the analysis samples must be processed with a great deal of effort. A HZG doctoral candidate, Tristan Zimmermann, has therefore developed a method that vastly speeds up sample preparation. His method will help ease everyday laboratory work for researchers all over the world. His endeavours have now been awarded a prize at a scientific conference. more

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