Research Topics

(Photo: Ina Frings)

Matter Cycles in the Coastal Sea

The global coastal seas form a narrow strip between the land and ocean. This transition zone is fluent in the south-east region of the North Sea. It is shaped by ebb and flood tides, currents and sea state as well as by changes in sea level. For the last thousand years, however, it has also been influenced by us humans.

Large and small rivers continuously supply fresh water and sediment. In addition, river and atmospheric transport bring complex material mixtures from densely populated catchment areas to the biologically active coastal regions. These mixtures are then processed by living organisms and distributed by currents.

Changes in the river catchment areas and estuaries, in the coastal sea itself as well as in the adjacent ocean affect the various matter flows and conversion processes, and thus the environmental state of the rich ecosystems and the benefits we draw from them.

On our portal coastMap, under the heading "Spotlights", important topics of research are explained, such as ship emissions, the current, the Wadden Sea and the environmental behavior of long-lived pollutants. These "spotlights" have the character of stories that are underlaid with maps and information material.

coastMap is part of the new Helmholtz Coastal Data Center (HCDC).

Spotlights - Science in a Nutshell