Operational Systems

A FerryBox is installed on-board several ferries. -image: fotolia / Pavoll Kmeto-

In-situ Measuring Systems

Current events and constant changes in coastal waters can only be differentiated and evaluated if continuous data on the condition of the coastal seas is available.

The department of In-situ Measuring Systems develops and operates economical and reliable observation methods that enable scientists to continuously and autonomously measure oceanographic and water quality parameters in-situ in the marine environment. Measurement results are obtained directly at sea and not just after analysis of bottle samples in a laboratory.
Vessels such as ferries or cargo ships that travel regular shipping routes are utilised as a cost-effective research platform. _Flow-through systems (FerryBoxes) that automatically analyse the water during journeys are installed on these vessels. In addition to standard parameters such as temperature and salinity, other measurements can also be obtained, including turbidity, pH values, alkalinity, carbon dioxide, oxygen and nutrient content or chlorophyll-a concentration.

The FerryBox measurement results are used by colleagues at the HZG as well as by the international community to study the development of algae blooms and to better assess ocean acidification. Scientists also study to what extent the coastal seas serve as a buffer or a source of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The data enables a better understanding of the complex processes in the ocean and improves ocean and climate models by establishing a realistic baseline of data sets.