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Serna A.,University of Hamburg | Patsch J.,University of Hamburg | Dahnke K.,Helmholtz Center Geesthacht | Wiesner M.G.,University of Hamburg | And 4 more authors.
Continental Shelf Research

The German Bight/SE North Sea is considered a hot-spot of river-induced eutrophication, but the scarce observational data of river nitrate loads prior to the 1970s complicate the assessment of target conditions for environmental management and legislation. Stable nitrogen isotope ratios (δ15N) in sediment records can be used to decipher historical river nitrate contributions. To better constrain pre-1970s conditions, we determined δ15N in archive sediment samples (1950-1969) and dated cores from the Helgoland depositional area. We also modeled the δ15N in past situations (1960 and 1860) using an N-isotope-tracking ecosystem model. The modeled spatial distribution of δ15N in sediments for 1960 conditions and the observed spatial pattern of δ15N in archive sediment samples (1950-1969) represent a period of moderate eutrophication. The modeled spatial distribution of δ15N in sediments for 1860 conditions (pre-industrial) showed a moderate δ15N gradient from the Elbe river mouth (δ15N<4<) to the open sea (δ15N~;5<). This pattern contrasts with the δ15N pattern in modern surface sediments, which exhibits a steep and inverted δ15N gradient from the Elbe river mouth (δ15N>9<) to the open sea (δ15N<7<). Modeled δ15N for 1860 conditions are consistent with δ15N values observed in dated sediment cores that span the last 900 years. Value of δ15N in sediment cores increased from approximately 1860 to 2000 by 2.5 Source

Losa S.N.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research | Danilov S.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research | Schroter J.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research | Janjic T.,German Weather Service | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Marine Systems

A data assimilation (DA) system has been developed for the operational circulation model of the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) in order to improve the forecast of hydrographic characteristics in the North and Baltic Seas. It is based on the local Singular Evolutive Interpolated Kalman (SEIK) filter algorithm and assimilation of the NOAA AVHRR-derived sea surface temperature (SST). The DA system allows one to improve the agreement of the SST forecast with the satellite observations by 27% on average over the period of October 2007-September 2008. However, a sensitivity analysis of the forecasting system performance shows a significant impact of initial model error statistics on ice fields and bottom temperature. A reinitialisation of model error covariances in accordance with seasonality of the model error statistics was required in order to maintain the predictive skill with respect to these variables. The success of the DA system is quantified by the comparison with independent data from MARNET stations as well as sea ice concentration measurements. In addition, the Maximum Entropy approach is used to assess the system performance and the prior and posterior model error statistics. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

Mai C.,Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency BSH | Theobald N.,Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency BSH | Lammel G.,Max Planck Institute for Chemistry | Lammel G.,Masaryk University | Huhnerfuss H.,University of Hamburg
Atmospheric Environment

Pesticides are transported beyond source regions and reach coastal waters and shelf seas. 23 representatives of six chemical classes of currently-used pesticides (CUPs) were simultaneously quantified in the marine boundary layer and the surface seawater of the German Bight and the central North Sea in 2009 and 2010.Terbuthylazine, metolachlor, metazachlor, pendimethalin and trifluralin exhibited the highest concentrations, seasonally highly variable. Advection of contaminated air from land and subsequent atmospheric deposition was shown to contribute to surface seawater contamination significantly, in particular in regions beyond riverine input and during the main seasons of application in agriculture. Deposition was most significant for the seasonal and spatial distributions of pendimethalin and trifluralin. Atrazine and simazine levels in the air are lower than 1-2 decades ago. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Brostrom G.,Norwegian Meteorological Institute | Carrasco A.,Norwegian Meteorological Institute | Hole L.R.,Norwegian Meteorological Institute | Dick S.,Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency BSH | And 3 more authors.
Ocean Science

Oil spill modeling is considered to be an important part of a decision support system (DeSS) for oil spill combatment and is useful for remedial action in case of accidents, as well as for designing the environmental monitoring system that is frequently set up after major accidents. Many accidents take place in coastal areas, implying that low resolution basin scale ocean models are of limited use for predicting the trajectories of an oil spill. In this study, we target the oil spill in connection with the "Full City" accident on the Norwegian south coast and compare operational simulations from three different oil spill models for the area. The result of the analysis is that all models do a satisfactory job. The "standard" operational model for the area is shown to have severe flaws, but by applying ocean forcing data of higher resolution (1.5 km resolution), the model system shows results that compare well with observations. The study also shows that an ensemble of results from the three different models is useful when predicting/analyzing oil spill in coastal areas. © 2012 Author(s). Source

Werschkun B.,Federal Institute for Risk Assessment BfR | Banerji S.,Federal Institute for Risk Assessment BfR | Basurko O.C.,Tecnalia | David M.,Dr. Matej David Consult | And 18 more authors.

Uptake and discharge of ballast water by ocean-going ships contribute to the worldwide spread of aquatic invasive species, with negative impacts on the environment, economies, and public health. The International Ballast Water Management Convention aims at a global answer. The agreed standards for ballast water discharge will require ballast water treatment. Systems based on various physical and/or chemical methods were developed for on-board installation and approved by the International Maritime Organization. Most common are combinations of high-performance filters with oxidizing chemicals or UV radiation. A well-known problem of oxidative water treatment is the formation of disinfection by-products, many of which show genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, or other long-term toxicity. In natural biota, genetic damages can affect reproductive success and ultimately impact biodiversity. The future exposure towards chemicals from ballast water treatment can only be estimated, based on land-based testing of treatment systems, mathematical models, and exposure scenarios. Systematic studies on the chemistry of oxidants in seawater are lacking, as are data about the background levels of disinfection by-products in the oceans and strategies for monitoring future developments. The international approval procedure of ballast water treatment systems compares the estimated exposure levels of individual substances with their experimental toxicity. While well established in many substance regulations, this approach is also criticised for its simplification, which may disregard critical aspects such as multiple exposures and long-term sub-lethal effects. Moreover, a truly holistic sustainability assessment would need to take into account factors beyond chemical hazards, e.g. energy consumption, air pollution or waste generation. © 2014 The Authors. Source

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