Subproject 3

Coastal regions across the world are suffering from negative environmental effects of human activity. A large number of contamination studies exist for back barrier tidal flats, estuaries and sediments of the southern North Sea.

This study focuses on the Jade Bay (Jadebusen) which forms part of a large tidal flat system in NW Germany. Due to its nature as transitional zones between terrestrial and marine realm and their shallow water depth, the system is subject to significant dynamics resulting from tidal change.

Data for the Jade Bay are scarce and/or outdated. Available information is often geographically scattered and limited to isolated sampling points. The distribution of elements in the multi-layered Holocene sediment sequence is almost unknown.

The Chemistry Subproject of the Jade Bay Study aims at filling existing data gaps through targeted analysis of heavy metals, nutrients and selected organic pollutants. Sampling is to take place in a representative pattern across the essential parts of the Jade Bay area. Repeat analyses will be used to identify areas where significant changes can be observed over a short period of time. As a next step, a mathematical model of currents will be used to investigate the development of zonal distribution patterns of the identified pollutants. Analyses of drill cores will provide historical data from the geological past for comparison. Notably, the compilation of results from natural and cultural science research, alongside with the analysis of data from the literature, through a georeferenced information system will allow an assessment of current levels of contamination in the Jade Bay.