Surface Transects – FerryBox

FerryBoxes are automated measurement systems used to determine physical and biogeochemical parameters in surface waters. They are either mounted on ‘ships of opportunity’, such as ferries or container ships, that serve regular routes across the North Sea (see picture) or are operated as fixed installations (Cuxhaven, Spitsbergen, and the measurement platform FINO3). Water is pumped from a subsurface intake into the measuring circuit containing multiple sensors. The system is equipped with an automated self-cleaning and antifouling mechanism. All processes can be controlled remotely via satellite from land. Data are transmitted and made publically available after each transect. The automated regular recordings by the FerryBoxes enable detailed investigations of physical and biogeochemical processes and are, for instance, assimilated into models.


Temperature, salinity, turbidity, chlorophyll, pH, oxygen, algal groups, nutrients, automatic water samples for further lab analysis
pCO2, alkalinity, flow-cytometer, gene-probes