Creation of application oriented synoptic reference data on geomorphology, sedimentology and hydrodynamics in the German Bight (EasyGSH-DB)

The coastal area of the German Bight is characterized by a diverse formation of islands, mud flats, tufts and estuaries. As a result, complex, non-linear transformations of the tidal and sea processes from the open North Sea to the coast and into the estuaries take place.

This hydro-, sediment- and morphodynamically active area is intensively used as a settlement area, as a recreational area, as a nature reserve and also as an economic area. In particular, for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) (2008) comprehensive data on hydrographic changes (descriptor 7) should be provided. In order to continue to ensure an environmentally friendly supply and to ensure legal and planning security for infrastructure projects in the marine and coastal zone, it requires interdisciplinary and continuous research to expand the knowledge of the natural environment, natural process chains and their response to anthropogenic interventions.

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Goals of the project

The aim of the project is to generate quality assured high-resolution reference data sets for the area of the German Bight by using available measurements, hydrodynamic simulations and analysis and make them accessible in a simple way.


The geodata and products prepared in the framework of EasyGSH-DB are provided via the existing structures of the Maritime Data Structure Germany (MDI-DE) as well as the information systems of the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) and of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (mCloud), thus guaranteeing practical and long-term availability.


For the first time, practice-oriented application options are to be systematically developed and prototypically implemented through close cooperation with future users. The early involvement of stakeholders and the organization of a participatory process that continues over the entire duration of the project ensure the focus on practice-relevant products.


The work focuses on geomorphologic data for bathymetry and sedimentology as well as hydrological data for hydrodynamics, salt and sediment transport as well as swell. The project structure of EasyGSH-DB therefore offers the possibility for a large number of stakeholders from administration, the maritime industry, research, non-governmental organizations and the interested population to work proactively on the product development of high-resolution, quality-assured databases.


Structure and work packages of the project

A data and method bank will be set up for the seafloor, which will describe the compiled natural data as a time-varying digital geomorphological model. This allows planar interpolation and semi-automatically produced consistent models and maps for the relationship between geomorphology, hydrology, sediment composition, and their dynamics. For a period of 20 years, simulation models will be operated as part of a multi-model approach and the quality of the model results will be analyzed and documented.

Based on the model results, analyzes are carried out on a variety of morphological, hydrological and sedimentological parameters. Products are consistent bathymetries, maps and models of the dynamics of morphology, sediment and tide events. The participatory process identifies the stakeholders and their needs for products to be created.

Due to the intensive dialogue between the stakeholders and the project consortium, the linking of requirements is promoted in the phase of participatory product development with possible solutions. Together, we will develop usable prototypical products for selected applications and ensure their usability in test runs.

All products (data, methods, models, complex visualizations) are deployed on the platforms of BSH (Geoseaportal) and MDI-DE (Hosted by KFKI) and merged into MDI-DE and mCLOUD based on a distributed database. They contained metadata is according to the currently valid standards (INSPIRE, WSV) as well as proof of origin and processing. The offer is complemented by e-learning applications on selected topics.

Involved institutions and organisations