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BASYS: Baltic Sea System Study

Type of Entry: Project
Website: http://www.io-warnemuende.de/Projects/Basys/en_home.htm
Duration: 01/01/1996 - 31/12/1999


The Baltic Sea System Study - BASYS project aims at reducing these uncertainties in a multidisciplinary project with 8 scientific subprojects.


  • Pelagic processes
  • Lateral transport
  • Nearshore processes
  • Atmospheric load
  • Climate impact
  • Environmental record in the sediments
  • Systems analysis and modelling
  • Mesoscale physics.


The 3 major objectives of the project are:

  • to improve the quantification of past and present fluxes
  • to further the understanding of the susceptibility of the Baltic Sea to external forcing
  • to achieve a sound scientific basis for the understanding of future changes.

The work of BASYS encompasses retrospective aspects by studying the sedimentary record, long-term time series and hindcasting models as well process oriented studies on important system components like vertical and lateral fluxes, food web structure and their regulation by mesoscale physical phenomena.

The 4 major working tasks are:

  • assessment of time scales of significant changes and limits of complexity for prediction
  • translation of lateral and vertical gradients into mass balances
  • estimation of the sediment recording capacity in relation to lateral transpor and pelagic-benthic coupling
  • differentiation between natural and anthropogenic external forcing by understanding the preindustrial variability of the ecosystem.

The various subsystems of the Baltic Sea are highly variable in their biogeochemical behaviour. The field work cover representative site and results are upscaled to basin and larger scales by various model approaches. The combination between process oriented work, assembling of historical data, modelling and the geological record will allow for robust testing for predictive capability and for development of generic strategies in coastal ecosystem research. Coastal oceans in the highly dynamic boundary area between the terrestrial and oceanic realms are exposed to considerable external forcing by natural phenomena and human intervention. Particularly, semi-enclosed intra continental coastal seas with the reduced water renewal, such as the Baltic Sea, are most vulnerable to the human component. Due to the uncertainties in differentiating the impact of climate variability from anthropogenic disturbances the future reaction of coastal ecosystems to increased stress and to counter-measures is not predictable at present.

Keywords: Coastal landscapes and ecosystems, Coastal modelling, Flood, Sediment transport
Contact: Prof. Bodo Von Bodungen
Baltic Sea Research Institute Warnemünde / Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Seestraße 15
18119 Rostock - Warnemünde
Telephone: +49-381-5197200
Fax: +49-381-5197105
E-Mail: bodo.bodungen@io-warnemuende.de
Website: www.io-warnemuende.de
Partner: University Stockholm, Depts. system Ecology, Geology and Geochemistry, Quarternary Research (www.su.se)
Institute for Marine Research Department of Theoretical Oceanography
Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (www.smhi.se)
Finish Institute for Marine Research Helsinki (www.fimr.fi)
Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel (www.uni-kiel.de)
University Hamburg, Institute for Anorganic and Applied Chemistry,IAUH (www.chemie.uni-hamburg.de)
Geological Survey of Finland Espoo (www.gsf.fi)
University Copenhagen
Marine Biological Laboratory Helsingoer, UKBH (www.mountain-lakes.org/emerge/teams/16.php)
Finish Environmental Agency Helsinki FEA (www.vyh.fi)
Financed by: European Union