Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The future of the Wadden Sea: Does more rain prevent it from drowning?

02.04.2012
New cross-border project PACE started

The Wadden Sea of the southwestern North Sea, the world’s largest area of connected intertidal flats, has existed for several thousand years, despite a more or less steady rise of the sea level.

This has been compensated for by transport of sediments into the Wadden Sea from the adjacent offshore waters of the North Sea. There is an ongoing scientific debate about the mechanisms which cause this onshore sediment transport. Coordinated by the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde, an international consortium of scientists from the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark has now joined forces and launched the project PACE (The future of the Wadden Sea sediment fluxes: still keeping pace with sea level rise?) to investigate the new hypothesis that the sediment transport through tidal channels is triggered by salinity differences. First computer simulation studies and field observations at several points in the Wadden Sea support this new hypothesis.

The following essential questions will be answered:

1. To which extent are salinity differences between the North Sea and the Wadden Sea responsible for the net sediment transport into the Wadden Sea and how does their effect compare to known processes such as tidal asymmetries?

2. How do these transports depend on the strength of the salinity differences which may in turn be increased or decreased due to climatological changes in precipitation?

3. Will the intertidal flats in the Wadden Sea survive an accelerated sea level rise due to global warming?

The researchers from the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark will mainly apply high resolution, realistic computer simulation models for the Wadden Sea, which are well calibrated to observational data. The models will be used to answer questions such as “what happens to the sediment fluxes if the freshwater flux into the Wadden Sea increases and sea level rise is accelerated?” Focal areas of the study will be the Marsdiep-Vlie-Schiermonnikoog system in the western Dutch Wadden Sea, the waters around the island of Spiekeroog in Lower Saxony, the waters around the island of Sylt in Schleswig-Holstein and the Danish Wadden Sea north of the island of Rømø.

The project had its kick-off meeting on March 6/7 in Delmenhorst (Germany) to coordinate their research and to define the specifications of the model simulations.

The project is jointly funded by the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (NWO) and the German Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) in the framework of the Georisk part of the 1st transnational call for proposals on Bilateral Wadden Sea Research.

The participating institutes and the contact persons are:

1. Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (Germany): Prof. Dr. Hans Burchard (email: hans.burchard@io-warnemuende.de, Tel.: +49-381-5197-140)

2. Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (The Netherlands): Dr. Theo Gerkema (email: gerk@nioz.nl, Tel.: +31-222-369426)

3. Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Centre for Materials and Coastal Research (Germany): Dr. Götz Flöser (email: goetz.floeser@hzg.de, Tel.: +49-4152-87-2345)

4. Deltares (The Netherlands): Dr. Gerben de Boer (email: gerben.deboer@deltares.nl, Tel.: +31-88-3358534)

5. DHI Water & Environment (Denmark): Dr. Ole Petersen (email: osp@dhigroup.dk, Tel.: +45-45169200)

6. University of Copenhagen, Department of Geography & Geology (Denmark): Prof. Morten Pejrup (email: mp@geo.ku.dk, Tel.: +45-353-22505)

7. AWI / Wadden Sea Station Sylt (Germany): Dr. Ragnhild Asmus (email: ragnhild.asmus@awi.de, Tel.: +49-4651- 956-4308)

Dr. Barbara Hentzsch | idw
Further information:
http://www.io-warnemuende.de

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents
12.12.2017 | Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

nachricht How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas
11.12.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gecko adhesion technology moves closer to industrial uses

13.12.2017 | Information Technology

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Research reveals how diabetes in pregnancy affects baby's heart

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>