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MEGAPOL: MEGAPOL - Fingerabdruck einer Megastadt in chinesischen Randmeeren; Leitantrag; Vorhaben: Koordination (TP1), Untersuchungen der Schadstoffverteilungen und der Hydrodynamik im Südchinesischen Meer (TP2)

The consortium Megacity’s fingerprint in Chinese southern marginal seas: Investigation of pollutant fingerprints and dispersal aims to study the marine environmental conditions in an area spanning from the northern shelf in proximity to Pearl River of the South China Sea towards the deep sea, to enhance our understanding of the effects of growing anthropogenic pressure in a highly dynamic marine ecosystem governed by natural variability ranging on space scales from small to mesoscale and time from daily to decadal. The area is an excellent natural laboratory to study the exchange processes between the land and the ocean (Pearl River), the variability of physical forcing (monsoon, circulation), the drastically increasing anthropogenic stress (nutrients/eutrophication, organic contaminants, microplastic, antibiotics, mercury) following the development of a Megacity within the area Guangzhou-Hong Kong. We are aiming to improving our understanding of the complex interactions between land, the coastal ocean and the open ocean and their resulting alterations due to effects of climate variability and anthropogenic stressors in a highly sensitive ecosystem. Our results will help to quantify the marine N, P, C cycles, allow the quantification and distribution of anthropogenic contamination as well as the degree of time-space variability of natural oceanic processes. This consortiums with 4 German and 5 Chinese partners work is closely linked to the complementary twin project Megacity’s fingerprint in Chinese eastern marginal seas: Investigation of pollutant fingerprints and dispersal coordinated by Dr. Pohlmann (Univ. HH), regionally focussed on Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea and the Yangtse River. Samples will be gained and exchanged between the twin projects aiming at an overview of the regional distribution of several substances within the partitions water, suspended matter and sediment. Intercalibration exercises regarding UV-filters and joint modelling efforts are part of the activities, going hand in hand with joint meetings, cruises and publications for participants of both consortia. Our consortium project contributes to the BMBF program marine research (Meeresforschung, PTJ) and is rooted in the WTZ-China initiative, dating back to 1986. Our activities are a continuation of the bilateral projects PECAI and BEIBU, both relevant to the programs Forschung für die Nachhaltigkeit (FONA) and System Erde.


  • Deich C., Kanwischer, M., Zhang, R., Waniek J.J. (2021). Natural and synthetic estrogenic compounds in the Pearl River Estuary and northern shelf of the South China Sea. Oceanologia SI: ,, Special Issue Marginal Seas
  • Chen Tu, Ying Liu, Lianzhen Li, Yuan Li, Angela Vogts, Yongming Luo, Joanna J. Waniek (2021). Structural and functional characteristics of microplastic associated biofilms in response to temporal dynamics and polymer types. Buelletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology : ,
  • Zhong, Y., M. Zhou, J. J. Waniek, L. Zhou and Z. Zhang (2021). Seasonal variation of the surface Kuroshio intrusion into the South China Sea evidenced by satellite geostrophic streamlines. J. Phys. Oceanogr. 51: 2705-2718, doi: 10.1175/jpo-d-20-0242.1
  • Yu, S., F. Chen, X. Jing, C. Chen, C. Zhuang, Q. Li, Y. Zhou, Z. Xia, H. Gan, K. Fisch and J. J. Waniek (2021). Increasing terrigenous pollen input in the late Holocene: Indications of intensive human activity and accelerated delta plain progradation. Mar. Geol. 439: 106547, doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2021.106547
  • Reineccius, J., J. Bresien and J. J. Waniek (2021). Separation of microplastics from mass-limited samples by an effective adsorption technique. Sci. Total Environ. 788: 147881, doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147881
  • Deich, C., H. C. Frazão, J.-S. Appelt, W. Li, T. Pohlmann and J. J. Waniek (2021). Occurrence and distribution of estrogenic substances in the northern South China Sea. Sci. Total Environ. 770: 145239, doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145239
  • Joanna J. Waniek, Detlef E. Schulz-Bull, Birgit Gaye, Ralf Ebinghaus, Friederike Kunz, Thomas Pohlmann, Kay-Christian Emeis (eds): Megacity’s fingerprint in Chinese marginal seas, Meereswiss. Ber., Warnemünde, 116 (2021), 1-62,doi:10.12754/msr-2021-0116
  • Fisch, K., R. Zhang, M. Zhou, D. E. Schulz-Bull and J. J. Waniek (2021). PPCPs - A human and veterinary fingerprint in the Pearl River delta and northern south China sea. Emerging Contaminants 7: 10-21, doi: 10.1016/j.emcon.2020.11.006
  • Tu, C., T. Chen, Q. Zhou, Y. Liu, J. Wei, J. J. Waniek and Y. Luo (2020). Biofilm formation and its influences on the properties of microplastics as affected by exposure time and depth in the seawater. Sci. Total Environ. 734: 139237, doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139237
  • Qian Zhou, Haibo Zhang, J.J. Waniek, Yongming Luo (2020): The distribution and characteristics of microplastics in coastal beaches and mangrove wetlands, in Microplastics in Terrestrial Environments: Emerging Contaminants and Major Challenges. Eds.: Defu He, Yongming Luo,  Springer, in press
  • Zhou, Q., C. Tu, C. Fu, Y. Li, H. Zhang, K. Xiong, X. Zhao, L. Li, J. J. Waniek and Y. Luo (2020). Characteristics and distribution of microplastics in the coastal mangrove sediments of China. Sci. Total Environ. 703: 134807, doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134807
  • Deich, C., M. Kanwischer, M. Jähne and J. J. Waniek (2020). Patterns of estrogenic activity in the Baltic Sea. Chemosphere 240: 124870, doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.124870
  • Kaiser, D., D. E. Schulz-Bull and J. J. Waniek (2018). Polycyclic and organochlorine hydrocarbons in sediments of the northern South China Sea. Mar. Poll. Bull. 137: 668-676, doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.10.039
  • Fisch, K., B. Li, Q. Liang, Y. Wang, Y. Ni, K. Liang, M. Zhoud, J. J. Waniek and D. E. Schulz-Bull (2017). Occurrence of the two endocrine disruptors octocrylene and nonylphenoxyacetic acid in four Chinese aquatic systems. J. Aquat. Poll. Toxicol. 1: 19,
  • Hettwer, K., M. Jähne, K. Frost, M. Giersberg, G. Kunze, M. Trimborn, M. Reif, J. Türk, L. Gehrmann, F. Dardenne, F. De Croock, M. Abraham, A. Schoop, J. J. Waniek, T. Bucher, E. Simon, E. Vermeirssen, A. Werner, K. Hellauer, U. Wallentits, J. E. Drewes, D. Dietzmann, E. Routledge, N. Beresford, T. Zietek, M. Siebler, A. Simon, H. Bielak, H. Hollert, Y. Müller, M. Harff, S. Schiwy, K. Simon and S. Uhlig (2018). Validation of Arxula Yeast Estrogen Screen assay for detection of estrogenic activity in water samples: Results of an international interlaboratory study. Sci. Total Environ. 621: 612-625, doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.211
  • Fisch, K., J. J. Waniek, M. Zhou, Z. Xia and D. E. Schulz-Bull (2017). Antibiotics in three Chinese coastal systems: Huangpu River, East China Sea, Pearl River Estuary. J. Aquat. Poll. Toxicol. 1: 13,