Nitrogen impacts on the Wadden Sea and adjacent Elbe Estuary (Europe)

The Wadden Sea is a shallow tidal sea along the European NW continent. Eutrophication reached a maximum during the 1980s and 1990s. Measures to reduce riverine nutrient loads improved the ecological status of the Wadden Sea.

Eutrophication is still a major problem in the adjacent Elbe estuary. Massive phytoplankton blooms from the Elbe river lead to low oxygen concentrations in the dredged part of the tidal Elbe in the vicinity of the Hamburg harbour. An integrated observation platform -currently under construction- will be presented that will allow for improved budgets of nitrogen and other pollutants.