Research vessel ALBIS

Investigations are currently performed in the Elbe River with a particular focus on hydrological extremes within the MOSES initiative. The research vessel Albis was specifically designed for Elbe measurements and has a draft of 45 cm only. We perform longitudinal samplings according to travel time (so-called Lagrangian samplings): Starting from the Czech-German border, we follow a particular water parcel on its way downstream to Hamburg. The investigations are part of larger campaigns which are performed in cooperation with Czech partners, Helmholtz Centre Hereon in Geestacht and Alfred-Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven and reach from the Czech upstream part via the German freshwater Elbe and the estuary to the coastal waters.

The temporal and longitudinal developement of the water body provides data regarding the increase of chlorophyll concentration (net growth rate of planktonic algae), the decrease of dissolved nutrients (nitrate, phosphate, silicate), the increase in bacterial numbers and activity, and the transformation of disslved organic matter.

From 2024, we investigate also the River Oder and sample the macrozoobenthos in deeper river areas within the project ODER~SO. We focus on the question to which extent mussels and snails were damaged during the fish kill event in 2022, how fast the organisms will recolonize the river, and if the lack of benthic filter feeders has consequences for phytoplankton.


  • Flow-time-compliant navigation of the Elbe from the Czech border to the Geestacht weir
  • Taking water samples and processing them in the ship's own laboratory
  • Sampling of sediments with the aid of an airlift sampler

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