• Next meeting: Jour Fixe 08.12.2023
  • Next field campaign: 27.11.-1.12.2023 

Contact (Spokesperson)

Prof. Dr. Gudrun Massmann
Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg

Funding and duration

Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG)
Duration (1st Phase): 01.04.2021 -31.03.2025


The following movie gives an impression on field work conducted on the beach of Spiekeroog and other coastal sites within previous related projects such as BIME  that prepared us for the planned field-work in DynaDeep. The Spiekeroog coastal observatory also serves as a living lab for teaching within the study programmes of the University of Oldenburg. Note that the beach research was carried out by members of the DynaDeep team together with colleagues and partners.

Project activities

In the following you will find impressions of different activities in DynaDeep. Short reports from field campaigns, field work and project meetings provide an overview of the current status and progress of the project.

09/2023: Talk at National Park Hous Wittbülten

On 22/09/2023, 14:30 hours, PD Dr. Bert Engelen, subproject P5, will give a talk on "Spiekeroog Coastal Observatory: Microbiological investigations on both sides of the island" at the National Park House Wittbülten. The talk will deal with the special importance of bacteria for material cycles in coastal ecosystems, which is also an important aspect of the DynaDeep project.

More information about the event and participation can be found here.

09/2023: DynaDeep Beach Day

On 12/09/2023 the DynaDeep "Beach Day" took place. The aim of the event, which was held directly at the investigation transect, was to inform about the overall project, the different subprojects as well as the infrastructure at the beach of Spiekeroog. Holidaymakers, islanders and other interested parties followed the Beach Day with great interest. Further information can be found here.

09/2023: DynaDeep PhDs host a session at ICYMARE conference

From September 18 to 22, 2023, the International Conference for Young Marine Researchers "ICYMARE" took place at the University of Oldenburg. As part of the conference, DynaDeep PhD students organized a session on physical, biogeochemical and microbiological processes and their interactions in coastal ecosystems. A total of 12 presentations (11 oral and 1 poster) were presented on this topic at the conference. To the delight of the session hosts, research in coastal regions was thus the topic with the most contributions at the conference. In addition to current results from the respective subprojects of the DynaDeep PhD students, the session also presented research on new technology metals, carbon transport and temperature developments in coastal regions.

More information and photos can be found here.

08/2023: Talk at National Park House Wittbülten

On 25/08/2023, 14:30 hours, Kai Schwalfenberg, subproject PZ, will give a talk on the "Spiekeroog Coastal Observatory: Scientific Infrastructure at the Land-Sea Transition Zone" at the National Park House Wittbülten. Thematically, the existing research infrastructure on Spiekeroog, which includes that of the DynaDeep project, will be presented and its purpose and importance for research will be explained.

Further information about the event and participation can be found here.

04/2023: ARTE covers DynaDeep project

On 24.04.2023, a film team from ARTE was on Spiekeroog to create a portrait of the Spiekeroog beach as well as the North Sea island as part of the six-part series "Strandgeschichten". DynaDeep's research activities on Spiekeroog were presented in the report by Anja Reckhardt (subproject P4), Simone Brick (subproject P5) and Kai Schwalfenberg (subproject PZ). Anja, Simone and Kai showed the functioning of the drilling device and explained the sampling of the groundwater wells. The broadcast date of the ARTE documentary series has not yet been set, but will be announced here as soon as it is known.

02/2023: 2. Status seminar

From 20-21/02/2023 the second DynaDeep status seminar took place at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg in Delmenhorst with the participation of all subprojects as well as the cooperation partners Prof. Holger Freund and Prof. Michael Böttcher.

During the first seminar day the current results of the different subprojects were presented and discussed. The second seminar day served for the realization of different group works. In small groups the first geochemical field data as well as the salinity measurements of different measuring instruments were intensively discussed. Furthermore, the PhD students exchanged ideas about their projects, and ideas for the next phase of DynaDeep were collected in a separate group work. Also, upcoming special campaigns on Spiekeroog were concretized.

Special thanks go to Dr. Doris Meyerdierks and her colleagues, who realized a successful status seminar at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg.

01/2023: 1. PhD Workshop

On January 31st, 2023, all eight DynaDeep PhD students met at Oldenburg University for a one-day workshop. Supported by the PIs Hannelore Waska and Jutta Niggemann, they dealt with the general concept of subterranean estuaries, its implementation in DynaDeep and in the individual PhD projects.

12/2022: First field campaigns

The first regular DynaDeep field campaigns were carried out with great success in June, August, October and December 2022, after the measurement infrastructure was installed primarily in the first half of 2022. At each campaign, a wide variety of parameters was examined at the study site roughly every six weeks.

Employees of the individual subprojects recorded the development of the beach morphology, analyzed the hydrochemical and microbial composition of the groundwater and the dissolved organic matter, examined the geophysics of the subsurface and determined the rates of various biogeochemical processes. The drilling device also came into use as planned. The beach container served as an important source of information for interested vacationers and islanders, especially during the summer months.

The last campaign in December represented the conclusion of a very successful year 2022 for the entire DynaDeep team.

09/2022: International Workshop

The International Workshop took place on Spiekeroog from 21-23/09/2022. In addition to 23 researchers from the DynaDeep project, 8 international experts for beach research came to the island from the USA, Canada, Spain, Belgium and Germany. All workshop participants were accommodated in the "Haus Quellerdünen", while the workshop itself was largely held in the Wittbülten Research Center.

The workshop program included presentations of all subprojects on the current state as well as inspiring lectures of the international experts on various research aspects in DynaDeep. During the breaks, which were very well organized by the Research Center Wittbülten and "Haus Quellerdünen", and in group work on different aspects of the research project, there were many opportunities for individual discussions. The workshop was rounded off by a visit to the investigation transect on the beach including a presentation of the already installed research infrastructure.

The constructive workshop atmosphere promoted the scientific exchange and strengthened the cooperation of the subprojects considerably. Eventually, the entire DynaDeep team left the island with many valuable inspirations and insights for future research activities.

08/2022: Multi-level well installation

In two separate actions, three groundwater multi-level monitoring wells were installed on the DynaDeep investigation transect. At the end of May 2022, two multi-level wells were installed at the dune base and at the high-water line. In August 2022, the third multi-level well was installed at the mid-water line. A Harms drilling rig on a ship was used for this purpose.

The three multi-level wells, which are easy to spot with their blue pipes on Spiekeroog's northern beach, each consist of 4 groundwater wells filtered at depths of 6 m, 12 m, 18 m and 24 m below ground surface. This allows for depth-specific groundwater sampling. Furthermore, all groundwater monitoring wells are equipped with data loggers that continuously measure water level, electrical conductivity and water temperature.

The investigations at the groundwater monitoring wells are coordinated by Prof. Dr. Gudrun Massmann, DynaDeep subproject P1.

05/2022: SAMOS installation

The installation of the saltwater monitoring system "SAMOS" took place on 24.05.2022 at the northern beach of Spiekeroog. The 20 m long measuring system, developed by the Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics (LIAG), was installed vertically at the high water line at a depth of 1 to 21 m below the surface, supported by the drilling company Harms. The last electronic components were installed at the beginning of July 2022, after which regular measurements could start.

SAMOS measures the electrical conductivity over the entire vertical depth in intervals of 25 cm at two-day intervals, which provides information about the salinity of the groundwater and the location of the salt-freshwater interface. Furthermore, the temperature profile in the interval of 2 m is recorded simultaneously. The high-resolution SAMOS measurements contribute significantly to the investigation of the dynamic processes in DynaDeep. The SAMOS investigations are led by Prof. Dr. Mike Müller-Petke, DynaDeep subproject P1.

05/2022: Container delivery

The DynaDeep container was delivered to the dog beach and placed there at the foot of the dune on 20/05/2022. During the summer months, it will house the drilling device as well as further measuring instruments and other accessories of the researchers. In addition, the container will serve as an information point and provide information about the DynaDeep project. For this purpose, three information boards will be attached to the container in the near future. Planned beach walks, which are open to all interested parties and will be announced in the Spiekeroog event calendar, will also start at the container.

05/2022: Pole installation

The DynaDeep pole was installed on 05/05/2022 near the current low water line at the investigation transect. The installation could be carried out successfully on the seaward side with the help of a NLWKN vessel. The 7 m high pole accommodates a multitude of modern measuring instruments that continuously collect information on water levels, wave heights as well as temperature and salinity of the North Sea. Furthermore, an attached camera and a 3-D lidar system enable the accurate measurement of the surface morphology for the detection of beach redistribution. Weather information is continuously collected by a dedicated weather station.

03/2022: Introduction drilling device

From March 29 to 31, technicians from the University of Oldenburg were instructed in the operation of the scientific drilling device specially acquired for the DynaDeep research group by the German Research Foundation.

This special device makes it possible to take water samples from depths of up to 25 m, which can then be analyzed for various environmental parameters in the laboratories of the participating institutes. In addition, a probe can be used to very quickly determine the salinity of the water over the entire depth profile.

With the help of the scientific drilling device, the subsurface at the study site at the "Hundestrand" will be investigated several times a year over the next two years to gain a better understanding of the beach ecosystem.

At the same time, DynaDeep scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics in Hannover used geophysical methods to visualize the salt distribution in the subsurface from the surface down to a depth of 40 meters. The first result: a very clear thick layer of salt water, originating from the heavy storm surges of the past months, can be traced in the subsurface down to the base of the dune and overlays the fresh water flowing out of the freshwater lens below.

With the help of a drone, the height of the terrain surface was measured at the same time. Over the next few years, researchers at Kiel University will thus gain insights into the extent of sediment rearrangement and the resulting change in the beach. This so-called morphodynamics also affects the groundwater flow in the subsurface.

The scientists were amazed at how much the beach has shortened as a result of the storm surges compared to the fall. The low tide line is currently found at the level of the former high tide line. The area between the high and low tide lines, the so-called intertidal, is much steeper and narrower. Overall, the distance between the base of the dune and the low-water line has shortened by 50-100 m compared to the fall. Over the summer, it will then be possible to observe with the help of the drone how quickly a renewed accumulation of sand takes place.

02/2022: Installation of lysimeters at the beach

With the dedicated effort of seven students of the Hermann-Lietz School on Spiekeroog, six lysimeters were installed on the northern beach of Spiekeroog under slightly adverse weather conditions. Lysimeters are plastic cylinders about 50 cm long that are buried in the beach at a depth of 80 cm. Infiltration water can enter the inside of the cylinder through a porous plate. The lysimeters were installed along the DynaDeep transect between the spring tide mark and the dune base. Based on periodic emptying of the lysimeters and measurement of the conductivity of the extracted water, infiltration rates during a storm surge can be quantified. The lysimeter studies, which will continue during the storm surge season, will be supervised on site by students from the Hermann Lietz-Schule.

See also the report on the webpage of the Hermann Lietz-Schule.

02/2022: Freshwater lens sampling campaign

Sampling of 14 fresh groundwater monitoring wells on Spiekeroog took place from 31/01/-04/02/2022. The wells screen the freshwater lens of Spiekeroog, i.e., the freshwater endmember to the Subterranean Estuary, at various locations in depth from 6 to 43 meter below mean sea level. Sampling was jointly carried out by subprojects P1, P3, P4 and P5.

Detailed analyses of the groundwater samples will help to better understand (i) sources and characteristics of organic matter, (ii) behaviour of trace metals and other dissolved ions and (iii) microbial community structures within the freshwater lens. The results will add to findings of previous sampling campaigns.

12/2021: Begin of geophysical campaigns

After a test campaign in summer 2021, the first regular geophysical campaign by subproject P1 took place on a beach transect on Spiekeroog in the period 06/12/-09/12/2021. The transect extends from the dune base over the upper beach into the intertidal zone. To record the temporal-spatial change of the salt distribution in the subsurface of the beach, Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) measurements will be carried out continuously in a rhythm of about six weeks. In addition, the topography at the time of each ERT measurement will be recorded by differential GPS measurements.

Starting in spring 2022, the recurring geophysical measurements will be supplemented by pore water sampling using direct-push techniques and a vertical electrode array ("SAMOS") installed in the beach. This multidisciplinary approach will provide for the first time a temporally and spatially highly resolved view of the salt distribution in the subsurface of a high-energy beach.

10/2021: DynaDeep Kick-Off

In addition to the regular online webinars and virtual meetings, all project partners got to know each other for the first time at the DynaDeep Kick-Off at ICBM, Oldenburg, on 14/10/2021, when Corona numbers were low.

Short presentations of the subprojects with subsequent discussion as well as a personal introduction of all project partners were part of the program. The professional and personal exchange during breaks rounded off the event successfully.

07/2021: Test campaign beach morphology and geophysics

From 21/07/-22/07/2021 the first field campaign in DynaDeep took place. The goal of the subprojects P1 and PZ was on the one hand to record the highly dynamic beach morphology at a time during summer. This was done by differential GPS as well as an automated drone survey.

Furthermore, initial Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) measurements were conducted to more accurately determine the saltwater/freshwater distribution in the subsurface. The results of the geophysical surveys will be used, among other things, to compare the salt distribution generated in model simulations with real field data.

(Changed: 13 Nov 2023)  | 
Zum Seitananfang scrollen Scroll to the top of the page