Küste Hero Istock-1540337901 Michael Workman

North Sea Observation and Assessment of Habitats (NOAH)


NOAH aims to establish a comprehensive (geo-referenced) inventory of seabed properties in the German Bight by:

  • merging, harmonising and mapping existing measurement data relevant to differentiating benthic habitats based on sedimentological, biochemical and biological properties as well as on anthropogenic pressures.
  • Studying temporal and spatial variability in physical, sedimentological, chemical and biological influence on seabed properties using high-resolution model results and targeted surveys of new data in representative sediment provinces.
  • Using numerical models and (geo)statistical methods for interpolation and extrapolation of key processes, functions and services of the benthic ecosystem, such as nutrient conversion, benthic-pelagic coupling, pollutant uptake, sediment resuspension and biodiversity.
  • Analysing the “Habitat Atalas” using probabilistic expert systems with the aim of operationalizing appropriate indicators for an integrated assessment of the “Good Environmental Status” (according to MSFD) and assessing the risks and limitations for the maintenance of important seabed ecosystem services under different climate and management scenarios.