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Tasks and targets of the project

Marine environmental monitoring strategies have been based traditionally on the observation and recording of long-term processes. This approach is due in part to the characteristics of the marine monitoring systems used (e.g. scientifc research vessels and satellites). Marine monitoring based on research cruises is a snap-reading method describing the present state of a particular sea area. Satellite data are limited to a small number of sea surface variables. There is no doubt, however, that the state of a hydrographically highly variable sea area (like the North Sea and the Baltic Sea) and ecological effects are also influenced by short- and medium-term processes.
The main target of the SAMSON project, which is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF - Federal Ministry of Education and Research), is the improvement of marine environmental monitoring in the German coastal waters. Therefore, the existing network of automated marine stations (MARNET) will be upgraded to include sampling of chemicals. The project will focus on the following key aspects:

  • quasi-continuous recording of nutrient and contaminant data in hydrographically highly variable sea areas 
  • combined evaluation of chemical, hydrographic and meteorological monitoring data 
  • development of a more efficient concept for future monitoring strategies 


Presently, the BSH operates seven marine stations within the marine monitoring network. All stations are equipped with sensors measuring the main hydrographic and meteorological variables. Additionally, chemical variables will be measured at three of the stations. These stations will be equipped with automatic nutrient analysers and samplers for organic micropollutants (EPOS). The nutrient analysers can be programmed to carry out hourly analyses, while the automatic sampler is capable of handling six samples within one servicing interval. The three SAMSON stations are the unmanned light-vessel DEUTSCHE BUCHT, the semi-submersible buoy NORDSEEBOJE III (not yet activated) and the discoid buoy FEHMARN BELT (see map of MARNET stations). All stations are controlled by a data management system with bi-directional telemetry units for remote-controlled network operation. 
For measurements of ammonium concentration in sea water and automatic sampling of organic micropollutants, novel instruments will have to be developed. This will be done in close co-operation with the company Sea&Sun Technology GmbH (Trappenkamp).

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MARNET monitoring system

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If you have any additional questions, please e-mail Kai Herklotz or phone +49 40 3190 - 3230
Sieglinde Weigelt-Krenz or phone +49 40 3190 - 3310

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