Research Topics
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Measurements in the harbour of Hamburg (Photo: Sina Bold / HZG)

DANUBIUS-RI: International Centre for Advanced Studies on River-Sea Systems

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DANUBIUS-RI (engl. Research Infrastructure) is a long-term, European and interdisciplinary Research Infrastructure to study River-Sea Systems. The research infrastructure enables scientists to study rivers and their catchment, transitional waters such as estuaries and deltas, as well as their adjacent coastal seas connectedly. The overall aim is to enhance process and system understanding, in order to address current and future challenges in rivers and coastal seas, to ensure a sustainable management and to maintain valuable ecosystem services.

Partners from 16 European countries are working together


DANUBIUS-RI is currently being set-up as a distributed research infrastructure with partners from 16 countries. The research institute GeoEcoMar in Romania is coordinating DANUBIUS-RI. Also the Hub and the Data Centre will be located there.

Furthermore, there is a Technology Transfer Office in Ireland as well as several Nodes and Supersites across Europe. Nodes are leading institutions, which are planning and coordinating core elements of DANUBIUS-RI, such as Observation (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK), Analysis (Federal Institute of Hydrology, Germany), Modelling (Institute of Marine Sciences, Italy) und Socio-Economic Impact of River-Sea Systems (Deltares, Netherlands).

Currently, the following River-Sea Systems are studied at eight Supersites: upper, middle and lower Danube, Elbe, Thamse, Ebro, Po and Nestos, as well as their respective adjacent seas. Further Supersites are under discussion.

The German Federal Institute of Hydrology is coordinating the German activities within DANUBIUS-RI and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG) is coordinating the Elbe-North Sea Supersite. For a sustainable management of Elbe and North Sea interdisciplinary knowledge about processes and their interactions in the River-Sea Continuum is needed, as well as about the impact of human activities, climate change and extreme events. Regional stakeholders have the opportunity to become partner in the Elbe-North Sea Supersite. Furthermore, HZG is leading the development of the Science and Innovation Agenda for DANUBIUS-RI in the preparatory project DANUBIUS-PP.

DANUBIUS-RI receives European quality seal


In 2016, DANUBIUS-RI has been included in the Roadmap of the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures ESFRI. ESFRI projects are selected due to their scientific excellence, maturity and strategic importance in order to support their timely implementation.

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For the preparation of DANUBIUS-RI, four million euro are already available out of the European Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020 (Grant Agreement No. 739562). From 2016 to 2019, the project DANUBIUS-PP (Preparatory Phase) builds the scientific, organisational and financial foundation for the implementation and operation of DANUBIUS-RI. The preparatory and implementation phase will presumably finish around 2022. Then the operation of DANUBIUS-RI is planned for about 30 years.

Contact at HZG:

Dr. Jana Friedrich
Dr. Jana Friedrich

Phone: +49 (0)4152 87-1891

E-mail contact