Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New underwater experimental field off coast of Helgoland

Today scientists at the Centre of Scientific Diving of the Biological Institute Helgoland start a project that is unique thus far for the North Sea: "MarGate", an innovative underwater experimental field.

In future, scientists want to acquire marine biology data with a high resolution in terms of time and space there by means of state-of-the-art sensor technologies. These data will then be available online via the Internet. For instance, climatically and anthropogenically induced changes in the hydrography and ecology of the North Sea will be examined in order to gain a better understanding of and be able to model the mechanisms of changes in the ecosystem due to climate change.

"MarGate" is part of the COSYNA oceanographic research infrastructure coordinated by the GKSS Research Centre Geesthacht and financed within the research field "Earth and Environment" of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. In addition to the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association, several nearshore research centres and universities in Germany are involved. This will result in creation of modern infrastructure enabling multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary work in coastal areas.

"Due to the unique location of Helgoland far from the German coast, in the middle of the North Sea, which is strongly influenced by climate change, we see the island as a strategic "hot spot" for marine research," states PD Dr. Philipp Fischer, scientific head of the Alfred Wegener Institute Centre of Scientific Diving and fish ecologist at the Biological Institute Helgoland. "The project gives us the opportunity to conduct experiments not only in the laboratory, but also under water directly in the North Sea over longer periods - which was previously possible only with the help of large and expensive research vessels," explains the dedicated scientific diver. "The island of Helgoland as the site offers us unique opportunities," Prof. Karen Wiltshire, director of the Biological Institute Helgoland that belongs to the Alfred Wegener Institute, is pleased to say.

To be able to meet the research demands of the scientists, the "MarGate" experimental field will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology. In cooperation with GKSS there will be underwater high-speed data line connections, so-called "data nodes", at which - as in the laboratory - measuring equipment and sensors or probes can be hooked up and remote controlled via the Internet for longer periods of time. Plans include, for example, recording small crustaceans automatically in their habitat with a zooplankton camera and at the same time obtaining information on the temperature and salt concentration of the water and the distribution of nutrients. This combination of continuous measurements opens up new ways of recording material flows in the sea and analysing food webs.

Thought has also been given to the power supply. Underwater sockets as well as diverse methods for storm-proof positioning of scientific equipment under water, even at wind force 12, will be tested and developed there in future. "We see MarGate only as the first step of a necessary development in taking marine research to where life in the sea takes place, namely under water," says Fischer. To implement such a project not only scientifically but also in practice, however, first the basic structures have to be installed now. Concrete tetrapods, each weighing six tons, will be put in place at a water depth of up to ten metres. This is made possible by good cooperation with construction companies and engineers that are able to provide the structures and position them precisely under water.

You will find further information on COSYNA at:

Notes for Editors:

Your contacts on Helgoland are PD Dr. Philipp Fischer (Tel. +49 4725 819-3344; e-mail: and Dipl. Biol. Stephanie Hayen (Tel. +49 4725 819-3386; e-mail: Your contact in the Communication and Media Department of the Alfred Wegener Institute is Folke Mehrtens (Tel. +49 471 4831-2007; e-mail:

You will find printable pictures at

The Alfred Wegener Institute conducts research in the Arctic, Antarctic and oceans of the high and mid latitudes. It coordinates polar research in Germany and provides major infrastructure to the international scientific community, such as the research icebreaker Polarstern and stations in the Arctic and Antarctic. The Alfred Wegener Institute is one of the sixteen research centres of the Helmholtz Association, the largest scientific organisation in Germany.

Margarete Pauls | idw
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>