German Bight

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Satellite image of the German Bight
Seasonal course of the water temperature off Heligoland

The German Bight ( Dutch Duitse Bocht , Danish Tyske Bugt , West Frisian Dútske Bocht , Low German Düütsche Bucht , English German Bight ) is a sea bay that lies in Central Europe off the Danish - German - Dutch North Sea coast and is part of the North Sea . It extends over an area of ​​around 77,000 km², 30,000 km² of which are Wadden Sea .

Geographical location

The German Bight lies on the European continental shelf and stretches from the West Frisian Islands (Netherlands) to the East Frisian and North Frisian Islands (Germany) to the Danish Wadden Sea Islands off Jutland (Denmark). The central island of the bay is Helgoland . The northwestern Bay delimitation is located in the North Sea Dogger Bank .

In the Heligoland Basin , which is directly southwest of Helgoland, and in a basin southeast of the Doggerbank, which is also located in this location before Jutland, the German Bight is up to 56 meters deep. The rivers Eider , Elbe , Weser , Jade and Ems flow into the bay from northeast to southwest .

The German part of the continental shelf that cuts through the German Bight from southeast to northwest and points from the mainland in the direction of Doggerbank is called the duck's bill ; in the southeast of this area is the Helgoland Bay .

Weather forecast area :

The internationally agreed weather forecasting area of ​​the same name (established since 1955, before that Helgoland ) largely corresponds to the hydrographic concept of the German Bight in terms of location and extent .

Economic use

Offshore wind farms in the German Bight

One of the busiest shipping routes in the world runs in the southern part of the German Bight , leading from Hamburg or the Elbe estuary to the Strait of Dover and the English Channel .

There are numerous offshore wind farm projects in the German Exclusive Economic Zone , some of which (e.g. BARD Offshore 1 , Meerwind Süd | Ost and Nordsee Ost ) have already been completed and are used to generate electricity.

Protected areas

There are numerous (German) protected areas (sorted alphabetically) in the German Bight, on its coastal fringes and on several islands:

Biosphere reserves

These biosphere reserves are located in the bay : Hamburg Wadden Sea , Lower Saxony Wadden Sea and Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea and Halligen .

Fauna-flora-habitat areas

In the bay are the following fauna-flora-habitat areas (FFH): Borkum-Riffgrund , Doggerbank , dune landscape Sylt-Süd , dune and heathland landscapes of North and Central Sylt , dune and heathland landscapes of North Sylt , Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park , Heligoland with Helgoland rock plinth , dog and Paapsand , coastal landscape East Sylt , coastal and dune landscapes Amrum , Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park , NTP Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea and adjacent coastal areas , Rantum basin , Schleswig-Holstein Elbe estuary and adjacent areas , Steingrund , Sylt Outer Reef , Lower Elbe , Unterems and Außenems , Unterweser and Weser near Bremerhaven .

Landscape protection areas

This landscape protection area (LSG) is located in the bay : Dithmarscher Wattenmeer . There are also other LSGs on islands: Amrum , Archsum , dune and heathland landscape Hörnum on Sylt , Jükermarsch and Tipkenhügel , Morsum , north-east Heide Kampen , Rantum and south-east Heide Kampen .

National parks

These national parks are located in the bay : Hamburg Wadden Sea , Lower Saxony Wadden Sea and Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea .

Nature reserves

These nature reserves (NSG) are located in the bay : Beltringharder Koog , Borkum Riff , Borkum-Riffgrund , Hamburger Hallig (mainly in the Wadden Sea), Heligoland rock shelf , North Frisian Wadden Sea , Sylt Outer Reef - Eastern German Bight , Red Sand , Wadden Sea north of the Hindenburg Dam and Dogger Bank . There are also other NSGs on a few islands: Amrumer Dünen , Baakdeel-Rantum / Sylt , Braderuper Heide / Sylt , dune landscape on the Rote Kliff / Sylt , Hörnum-Odde / Sylt , Lummenfelsen on the island of Helgoland , Morsum-Kliff , Nielönn / Sylt , North Sylt , Rantum basin and Rantumer dunes / Sylt .

Bird sanctuaries

In the bay there are these bird protection areas (VSG): Emsmarsch from Leer to Emden , Hamburg Wadden Sea , Hund and Paapsand , Krumhörn , Lower Saxony Wadden Sea and adjacent coastal sea , Eastern German Bight , Ramsar area Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea and adjacent coastal areas , sea ​​bird sanctuary Heligoland , Lower Elbe and Lower Elbe to Wedel .

Remnants of ordnance from the Second World War

According to German authorities, as of 2020 there were around 1.3 million tons of ordnance and 280,000 tons of chemical weapons from the Second World War sunk off the German North Sea coast.

Individual evidence

  1. Thomas Höpner: The ecological condition of the German Bight and the Wadden Sea , in: Oldenburger Universitätsreden, No. 31 , Oldenburg 1989, p. 18, accessed on April 21, 2017, on
  2. Fact sheet No. 8 - Shipping Forecast. (PDF; approx. 913 kB) (No longer available online.) In: Met Office National Meteorological Library and Archive., 2011, pp. 5-7 , archived from the original on October 6, 2012 ; accessed on May 4, 2017 (English).
  3. Map services of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation ( information )
  4. Nature reserves ( Memento from June 6, 2017 in the Internet Archive ), on
  5. Solveig Grothe, DER SPIEGEL: Sunk ammunition: The arduous search for Hitler's warfare agents - DER SPIEGEL - history. Retrieved May 30, 2020 .
  6. Philipp Löwe, DER SPIEGEL: Ordnance clearance in Germany: Time bomb under water - DER SPIEGEL - Science. Retrieved May 30, 2020 .

Coordinates: 54 ° 27 ′ 14 ″  N , 7 ° 12 ′ 50 ″  E