In the SAMOWatt sub-project (Satellite data for monitoring in the Wadden Sea (Wattenmeer)) optical data, radar data, field data are combined in order to retrieve information about the intertidal flats. Main requirement is that the information is suitable for assessing and monitoring the ecological state of the Wadden Sea. A variety of products have been developed for this, which shall be used for the reporting for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), Water Framework Directive (WFD)], and the Birds Directive and Habitats Directive (NATURA 2000), among others.



The Wadden Sea off the coasts of the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark is the biggest continuous area of tidal mudflats in the world. The German section is protected by the three Wadden Sea national parks of Lower Saxony, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. Its monitoring, both in its flooded and its dry state, is determined by the MSFD, WFD and NATURA 2000 directives across Europe, as well as by the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation (TWSC) at the level of the countries on the Wadden Sea's coast (NL, DK, DE). The SAMOWatt project is intended to contribute to better and more effective fulfilment of the appropriate reporting duties.


The aim of the project is to develop a synergistic classification process for surfaces in the Wadden Sea, in which multispectral optical satellite data is combined with radar data, in-situ data and available background information. The results are to be integrated into the ongoing monitoring of the Wadden Sea.

The following aspects are sub-aims of the project:

  • Optimisation of the ongoing monitoring of the Wadden Sea
  • Integration of data from new and future national and international remote-sensing sensors into the existing processes
  • Application of already developed classification processes for optical remote sensing data on other optical sensors with different spatial and spectral resolutions
  • Further development of analysis processes in relation to radar data and their integration into existing classification processes
  • Expansion of classification processes to include additional input information (e.g. a digital elevation model, probability maps)
  • Development of a pre-operational service for the Wadden Sea

During the classification process different thematic maps are created, e. g. classifications of the surface of the mudflats and maps showing the spread and dynamics of sediments. These products are developed in close collaboration with potential product users.