Documentation and updating of hydrological, hydrodynamic and morphological developments in the tidal regime of the Jade serving as a foundation both for planning and for preservation of maritime evidence for the construction of the JadeWeserPort

Time schedule:
  • 2002 – 2003: Morphological preliminary surveys
  • 2003 – 2005: Development of a modular preservation of evidence concept
  • 2005 – 2008: Execution of zero measurements
  • 2008 – 2012: Execution of measurements during the construction phase
  • 2012 – 2018: Execution of measurements after commissioning
  • 2019: Evaluation of results
Client/Contact authority:
  • JadeWeserPort Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH & Co.KG
  • JadeWeserPort Realisierungsgesellschaft mbH & Co.KG
  • Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven JadeWeserPort – Marketing GmbH & Co.KG

coastal engineering
Coastal engineering

field mesaurements
Field measurements

Preservation of evidence

environmental management
Environmental management


For construction and operation of the container port of Wilhelmshaven, planning approval procedures under mining law as well as water law were conducted. For both procedures, insights into the long-term development of the water body in the area under planning are indispensable. IMP therefore processed and in part also digitized available sounding data in order to describe changes in underwater topography and to deduce longer-term development forecasts from these.

Beyond this, IMP was assigned with the development of a specific preservation of evidence program based on requirements and conditions from the planning approval decision which was to provide reliable contributions especially to the validation of numerical modelling results as well as for unsettled controversial issues. The preservation of evidence concept additionally was to enable a flexible adjustment of its scope.

After a Europe-wide tender, the contract for performance and evaluation of the preservation of maritime evidence program for the JadeWeserPort was awarded to IMP in 2005. Since then IMP has performed and analysed extensive current and turbidity measurements both as long-time series and individual campaigns, processed soundings, analysed morphological developments and examined water levels.

The measurement series was initiated before starting construction of the new port and has been continued throughout the construction phase and into the operational phase in order to capture the lagged morphological response. The preservation of evidence measurements will end as soon as a new equilibrium condition is reached. The gained database will then form the evaluation basis for description and assessment of maritime impacts resulting from the construction. Beyond this, the intense focus of a preservation of evidence procedure does also often contribute to a better understanding of the system in general.

The special requirements for evaluation of preservation of evidence measurements of this kind result from the fact that the area under planning cannot be regarded as static over such a long time period. In addition to long-term natural changes, impacts often appear due to further anthropogenic action in the observation area which can sometimes have cumulative effects on the preservation of evidence task.

A first interim comparison of results from the preservation of evidence to the forecasts provided by the numeric model for the JadeWeserPort allowed to demonstrate that changes of the water levels and currents due to construction remained within forecasted limits.

Final evaluation of all results from the preservation of evidence measurements is currently scheduled for 2019.

Picture gallery of the project Jade Weser Port: views

Picture gallery of the project Jade Weser Port: impressions of the measuring positions

Picture gallery of the project Jade Weser Port: maintenance work at the long-term measuring positions

Picture gallery of the project Jade Weser Port: shipboard ADCP-Measurements

Picture gallery of the project Jade Weser Port: special measurement