Baltic Sea seabed maps & atlas published

Sediment features detailed, plus 50 years of ice formation data

Maps detailing seabed sediments and other features of the Baltic Sea floor as well as a 50-year ice atlas have been produced by Germany’s federal shipping and hydrography Office (BSH).

The maps and atlas offer detailed information that the BSH expects will be of use to offshore wind developers and their suppliers.

Using 17,000 seabed samples taken from a 15,540km² area between 1994 and 2010, the sediment and seabed relief maps for the whole German Baltic Sea region have been produced by BSH in collaboration with the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research.

Data about deposits of sand, mud and rock are available as well as information about specific habitats.

The ice atlas was drawn up in cooperation with Polish partners. It documents ice development over the last 50 years, providing statistical information about frequency of ice formation, thickness and duration. It is designed to help the shipping industry, builders and operators of offshore wind stations, says BSH.

Three offshore wind farms have been granted construction permits for the German Baltic Sea, in addition to an initial existing project, EnBW's Baltic 1. The forthcoming projects are:  EnBW Baltic 2 (formerly known as Kriegers Flak), Arkona-Becken Südost, and Wikinger (formerly known as Ventotec Ost 2).

An ice atlas for the German Bight (Deutsche Bucht) area of the North Sea is scheduled for release in 2014.