Key areas of the Research Group Physical Oceanography
The natural interplay between tides, waves and near-coastal currents fundamentally shapes the dynamics of ebb deltas, barrier islands, tidal flats, inlets, the coastline at large or even economically important shipping routes within the German Bight. Using complex numerical tools, the morphodynamic movements of bottom sediments can be modelled and predicted. For example, long-term forecasts about the sediment budget of a tidal basin can be created.
Discharging wastewater into water bodies is an intervention in the marine ecosystem. The discharge of substances having a different composition than the water body itself can alter the seawater properties. The magnitude of this effect is often not clear in advance. Therefore, prognostic methods are used to estimate potential developments. To achieve this, modelling of dispersion processes in the sea has increasingly gained in importance over the past years. More ...
Particularly in shallow coastal waters, complex interactions occur between wind or tidal driven currents and surface waves that mainly arise from deep oceanic regions and arrive in the shallow coastal zones. For example, the height of wave trains increases if these travel in the opposite direction of a current. Currents induced by waves that loose energy on shallow shores for example through breaking, are particularly interesting in view of sediment transport. An example are currents that develop in parallel to the coast, so-called longshore currents. Or rip currents which are directed away from the beach towards deeper waters and are therefore potentially dangerous for swimmers.