MARNET monitoring network

Measuring points in North and Baltic Sea Location of the measuring stations in the North Sea and Baltic Sea Map of the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with the positions of the MARNET stations (yellow dots). In addition, the different water areas in the North Sea are marked (ZNW=Zentral-Nordsee-Wasser, DBW=Deutsche-Bucht-Wasser), in the Baltic Sea the topographic boundaries are marked (KB=Kieler Bucht, MB=Mecklenburger Bucht, AB=Arkona-Becken, OB=Oder-Bucht).

The monitoring network of the BSH

The MARNET measuring network consists of various measuring stations in the German Bight and the western Baltic Sea. They automatically register marine data such as temperature, salinity and surface currents. There are 9 automatically measuring stations and 7 further buoys, which only measure the sea state. This measuring network is operated by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH).

The aim of the BSH's monitoring of the marine environment is to obtain observation data systematically and on a long-term basis. The review and evaluation of these data allows conclusions to be drawn about the quality status of the sea and about changes in the marine climate and marine communities.

Marine environmental monitoring contributes to predicting the impact of natural and man-made (anthropogenic) changes on marine resources, coasts and coastal populations. Marine environmental monitoring supports policy decisions and coastal zone management.

Marine environmental monitoring procedures

Effective monitoring of the marine environment can only be achieved with a combination of different observation methods. This includes measurements from the ship as well as observations by satellites but also permanent measurements at fixed positions. Each of the observation methods has advantages and disadvantages.

Satellite images cover large areas, but are only available every few days due to the orbital times. Measurements by ships, on the other hand, can only be carried out a few times a year, but provide information about a large area and the entire water column. Buoy measurements, on the other hand, provide information at a few selected locations, but these are hourly and over the entire water column, i.e. in high temporal resolution. The BSH therefore applies all three methods in its monitoring activities.