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Press Release Archive


10 years MARIA S. MERIAN, 50th expedition: Unique samples and data collected on winter cruise

After 23 days at sea the MARIA S. MERIAN arrived back at her home port of Rostock on January 29, 2016. This concludes the first comprehensive winter expedition for investigating matter cycles at the sea floor of the North and Baltic Sea. Under IOW lead, 16 scientists braved harsh conditions like heavy storms, driving snow, icy temperatures, thick fog and pouring rain to get „to the bottom“ of their research issues regarding the two German seas.


New insights into the fate of methane released at the seafloor

Joint press release of IOW and GEOMAR about the special issue of the “Journal of Marine and Petroleum Geology”, which reports the studies of a crater at the bottom of the North Sea created following a shallow gas blowout in the course of oil exploration in 1990that provides new insights into the fate of methane emissions at the sea floor.


Uncharted territory:
50th MERIAN expedition focuses on seafloor processes in winter

The North and Baltic Sea face environmental changes resulting from climate change, increasing utilization pressure as well as changes in the catchment area. These changes and their effect on coastal ecosystems are the focus of the German research KüNO consortium that aims at providing knowledge and data for a sustainable coastal management. One KüNO research field is the analysis of processes in the sediment water transition zone, which have a major influence on marine matter cycles. On January 6, 2016, the MARIA S. MERIAN embarked on her 50th expedition to study these processes in winter for the first time.


Autumn gales again drive salt into the Baltic: Third Major Baltic Inflow within 1.5 years.

From November 14 – 22, huge amounts of North Sea waters rich in oxygen entered the Baltic Sea again. It was a series of 12 storm fronts passing the Baltic Sea region since the beginning of November, which had triggered this event. According to first calculations a water volume of 76 km³ with a salt content of 17-22 g/kg passed the narrow and shallow Western Baltic Sea during the main inflow period. This sums up to approximately 1.4 giga-tons of salt being transported into the Baltic. Such an event can be classified as a Major Baltic Inflow of moderate intensity. Currently, this water mass can be traced in a water depth of 45-25 m in the Arkona Basin.


Review of an exceptional year: Baltic Sea status report 2014 for the first time available in English

The yearly IOW assessment of the hydrographic-hydrochemical status of the Baltic Sea is an important component of the HELCOM monitoring programme. This year, for the first time, IOW has published the report for 2014 in English as a service specifically targeted at international experts and stakeholders in the Baltic littoral states. Especially the documentation of last year’s exceptional salt water inflow events is of particular interest for the Baltic expert community.


New department head
for “Physical Oceanography and Instrumentation” at IOW

On October 1, 2015, Prof. Markus Meier started in his new position as head of the department “Physical Oceanography and Instrumentation” at IOW. Previously, the expert for theoretical oceanography and climate modelling headed the oceanographic research unit of the internationally renowned Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI).


First full-coverage underwater biotope map of the German Baltic Sea developed at IOW

An IOW research team has generated the first map that provides a full-coverage description of the underwater biotopes of the German Baltic Sea and the German EEZ by combining information about species communities with information about abiotic habitat traits.


Gone with the wind: A new project focusses on atmospheric input of phosphorus into the Baltic Sea

In August, the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW) received the funding approval from the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) referring to a two-year pilot study on the atmospheric input of phosphorus in the Southern Baltic Sea. The project started with the beginning of September.


Research on oxygen minimum zones: International team of experts develops white paper

From August 30 to September 1, 2015, the IOW hosts a workshop of high-ranking international experts from the SCOR working group “Microbial Community Reponses to Ocean Deoxygenation”. The workshop aims at developing guide lines, which provide an orientation for researchers worldwide to standardize and optimize their work on OMZ.


Time travel into the past of marginal seas: IOW expedition explores Canadian coastal waters

Why and how have coastal waters undergone environmental changes during the last dec-ades and centuries? Is it possible to distinguish between natural processes and anthropo-genic influences that drive these changes? These questions are guiding the current IOW expedition of the research vessel MARIA S. MERIAN into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.