The IOW is an independent research institution specializing in interdisciplinary study of coastal oceans and marginal seas. In particular, our work focuses on the Baltic Sea ecosystem. The institute is divided into four sections: physical oceanography, marine chemistry, biological oceanography, and marine geology. Our researchers also teach at the universities of Rostock and Greifswald.
Oxygen minimum zones caused by intense microbial degradation processes of organic matter are characteristic for the Baltic Sea. The hostile living conditions of these so-called ‘dead zones’ become even more pronounced, when toxic hydrogen sulphide is produced by bacterial activity. To visualise the spatial and temporal distribution and dynamics of these areas, the IOW regularly publishes new maps in a unique collection of several hundered, thereby covering data of more than five decades.