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The benthic realm


  • Consideration of the role of sediments as carbon bioreactors and depots Focus on the benthic investigation of the depot centers with silty, OM-rich sediments for the quantitative recording of key processes in the sediments
  • Understanding the importance of the electron acceptors on the TA / DIC balance in the sediment Sediments in the Skagerrak (transition area between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea) are of particular interest
  • Investigation of the anaerobic metabolic activities taking place in the sediment Use of various terminal electron acceptors, increase in alkalinity and changed redox conditions in the sediment and the remobilization of specific toxic elements play an important role here
  • Recording of the seasonality of the examined processes Implementation of benthic process studies in the Wadden Sea of ​​the islands of Spiekeroog and Sylt
  • Exchange and use of synergistic effects between CABROSTORE and the MGF-North Sea and MGF-Baltic Sea projects The research interface of the projects is the sandy, permeable sediments in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea
  • Supplement to the pelagic field studies from work package 1

Electron acceptors as modulators of benthic mineralization vs. retention of organic carbon

How do benthic turnover affect the remineralization and retention of carbon? How are the processes of remineralization, ammonification, nitrification and denitrification coupled with each other and change the TA in the coupled water body?


  • Investigation of the biogeochemistry in sediments at key locations in the North and Baltic Seas and the Skagerrak The importance of various factors such as carbon enrichment, remineralization and final deposition can be clarified
  • Investigation of sedimentary carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus and iron
  • Investigation of various electron acceptors, the carbon system and the resulting flows across the sediment-water interface
  • Assessment of the role of the benthic-pelagic coupling for the changes in the TA in cooperation with work package 1

Effects of carbonate dissolution / formation on the pore water alkalinity

How do benthic turnover processes control the interaction with carbonate solid phases in the sediment? How do carbonate dissolution versus formation contribute to the carbon system in the pore water and its TA / DIC release of the various sediment types?


  • Investigation of the role of carbonate dissolution versus authigenic carbonate mineral formation on benthic alkalinity changes using the analysis of pore waters and sedimentary carbonate solid phases
  • Analysis of pore water profiles and sedimentary carbonate solid phases for benthic gradients and relation to sedimentological and biogeochemical boundary conditions
  • Analysis of nitrogenous nutrients and phosphate as well as dissolved metals (Mn, Fe, Cu) with influence on water-carbonate interactions

Understanding the importance of heavy metal influences on the context of the respiratory and implementation processes and paths

What influence do the ongoing biotic and abiotic conversion and remineralization processes have on the mobilization of heavy metals? Which substance flows of environmentally relevant heavy metals take place in the water column? How do released, toxicologically relevant elements influence / inhibit the ongoing biotic conversion processes (ammonification / nitrification / denitrification)?


  • Investigation of the effects and impacts of the mobilization of trace metals on the respiratory processes and their distribution For this purpose, trace element patterns within different compartments (e.g., pore water, dissolved particulate matter (SPM)) and their qualitative and quantitative changes over time will be determined
  • Investigation of dissolved heavy metals and metalloids, as well as their fluxes and exchange with the water column Focus on redox-active elements such as Cu, and Mo as well as Hg in terms of their quantitative distribution and possible isotopic fractionations and their effects on carbon deposition and other interactions, respectively


Dr. Tina Sanders Coordinator work package 2

Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon

Phone: +49 4152 87 1898

E-mail contact
Prof. Dr. Michael Böttcher Coordinator work package 2

Leibniz-Institute for Baltic Sea Research

Phone: +49 381 5197 402

E-mail contact