SaltSa - Groundwater Salinity by Sea Level Rise as Social Challenge - The Example of northwest Germany (DFG)

Project Team

Dr. Leena Karrasch



Prof. Dr. Bernd Siebenhüner



Secretariat: Birgit Schelenz


+49 441 798-4384  

Project Description

Research Objectives

Due to sea level rise because of climate change, the salinity of our groundwater close to the shore is increasing, which affects a big part of our drinking water. This "subtle danger" is in the centre of the new research project of hydrogeologist Prof. Dr. Gudrun Massmann and ecological economist Prof. Dr. Bernd Siebenhüner at the University of Oldenburg. The project aims to study the extent of the problem and to develop strategies for the sociatal handling with the increasing groundwater salinity - for example at the North sea coast - as well as countermeasures.


As an interdisciplinary project, SaltSa will combine natural scientific modeling with social scientific analysis and the participation of local acteurs in the northwest region. The project is supposed to develop models in order to picture respectively predict current and future flow conditions and groundwater salt content. These results will be geared with the analysis of the social economic consequences, to then point out appropriate countermeasures. A specific focus will be the perceptual patterns, the knowledge and the learning processes of relevant societal acteurs as well as the costs provoked by the salinisation.

Project Duration



The German Research-funding organisation (DFG) supports the project with 475,000€ from 2016-2019.


  • Prof. Dr. Gudrun Massmann -  Head of the working group "Hydrogeology" at the Institute of Biology and Environmental Science
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