Sediments and adsorbed matter such as nutrients and pollutants accumulate on the coastal seabeds. They are transported into the coastal seas by tributary rivers and advect further along the coastlines through complicated interactions between tidal currents, waves and mixing of fresh and saline water. Mixing and dispersal of the substances is controlled by processes that act on spatial scales ranging from several hundreds of kilometres to millimeters (turbulence). Our investigations focus on the “submesoscale”, which ranges from several hundred meters to some kilometers. The theoretical understanding of the processes acting at this scale is still in its infancy. The observation of submesocale eddies and frontal features requires new and demanding methods to capture their highly transient, and short-lived nature. It has been suggested that research in this field will help to highlight several fundamental, unanswered topics, such as
- the open gap the energy cascade from the oceans to the coasts
- the hotspots for the production of phytoplankton at oceanic fronts
The Continual Measurement System Department is a component of the „Coastal Observing System for Northern and Arctic Seas“ COSYNA, an institute devoted to coastal research in the German Bight.