SALINITY AND WATER LEVELS IN THE WESER ESTUARY DURING THE LAST HUNDRED YEARS - ANTHROPOGENIC INFLUENCES ON THE COASTAL ENVIRONMENT

H. Kunz

Abstract


Today the Weser Estuary (Unterweser) is one of the most regulated rivers in Europe. It connects the harbour of Bremen with the Southern North Sea (German Bight) and is used by ocean-going ships. The first substantial deepening was done during the last decade of the 19th century. As the vessels became larger, the river has been deepened and widened for several times. The sequence of engineering works changed drastically the hydrological, morphological and ecological conditions within the Unterweser. The tidal water levels and the salinity had been measured since the beginning as part of an extended interdisziplinary monitoring program providing sound data over one century. These data are a valuable base to investigate the impact of the regulation works on the natural ecosystems of the coastal environment and on demands of the society, such as flood protection, irrigation, drainage. New questions arise from the vision, that impacts might be amplified by global climate changes.

Keywords


salinity; water level; Weser Estuary; estuary

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