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3rd Baltic Earth Conference
Earth system changes and Baltic Sea coasts
Jastarnia, Hel peninsula, Poland
1 - 5 June 2020



Conference booklet download here...

Online Conference on

Marginal Seas – Past and Future

16-17 December 2020, 1-6 pm CET

Organized by
University of Szczecin, Institute of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Poland

Co-organized by
International Baltic Earth Secretariat, Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht, Germany
Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey / China Geological Survey, China
Section of Marine Geology, Polish Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research Polish Academy of Sciences

Polish Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research Polish Academy of Sciences

Preface / Rational

The conference shall continue the discussion based on an initiative “Eurasian Marginal Seas – Past and Future (EMS)” that was launched by a network of scientists from Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, Spain, UK, and USA during the annual conference of the International Association for Mathematical Geosciences “IAMG 2019”, to be embedded into the Deep-time Digitial Earth (DDE) Big Science Program of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).

The general target of the initiative is to elaborate a generally accessible methodology based on big data analyses and numerical modeling to answer the following questions:

  1. How did marginal seas of different climatic zones and tectonic settings change their paleogeography, paleoceanography, and paleoenvironment during the natural climate and environmental variations of the Last Glacial Cycle (last 130 kyr)?
  2. What are the future expectations for the development of marginal seas and their coastal zones facing the challenge of climate change and increasing human impact on the environment for this century?
  3. What strategies for sustainable development of the marine and coastal realm can help to keep a balance between the protection of the environment and the economic use of marginal sea resources?

During our first “EMS Expert Meeting” held at Guangzhou in November 2019, we realized that we need more research results in basic science before we can start in a next step to develop management concepts based on numerical modeling in order to protect the environment and use the resources of marginal seas. Therefore, we have structured the second EMS Expert Meeting that will be held online on December 16/17 2020 into three Topical Sessions. The first one is devoted to the interdisciplinary description of climate with geo/eco/anthroposphere. The second one covers the interaction of marginal seas and society. The presentations of the third session dealing with data management and visualization (mapping) shall build the bridge to the next step on our roadmap: generating scenarios of the geological past and future developments by the application of numerical models.

In the conference, we approach global topics of marginal seas research. But we pay special attention to the Baltic Sea, as many processes of marginal seas can be studied in it like in a natural laboratory.

Topical Sessions

(1) Geo-, Eco- and Climate System

Lectures and discussions will on the one hand explain the links between processes of the geo-, eco-, and climate system as complex cause-effect relationships. On the other hand, interdisciplinary approaches to describe these relationships using models have to be discussed. In terms of time, we focus our studies on the Last Glacial Cycle (LGC), the climatic variation of which mainly dominates today's marginal seas. For the spatial scale a key question is the local to regional differentiation and global connection of geo-processes as hierarchical system.


  • Andreas Groh and Jan Harff: Postglacial changes in relative sea level: a comparative study for the Baltic Sea and the South China Sea
  • Bing Wang: Comparison study on climate changes based on temperature between Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay and European area
  • Eduardo Zorita: Challenges in modelling of the Last Glacial Cycle and  their implications for marginal seas
  • Helge Arz, Antje Wegwerth, Olaf Dellwig, Jérôme Kaiser, Markus Czymzik, Norbert Nowakzyk and Frank Lamy: Paleoenvironmental changes of marginal seas during the LGC
  • Markus Meier: Coastal seas and hypoxia
  • Corinna Schrum: Marginal Seas’ Ecosystem’s dynamics
  • Richard Peltier: Dynamics of continental margins during the LGC
  • Teresa Radziejewska and Andrzej Witkowski: Natural and anthropogenic impacts on ecosystems of marginal seas: reconstruction and assessment tools
  • Jinpeng Zhang: Paleo-ecology related to LGC
  • Karl Stattegger: Sea-level change during the Last Glacial Cycle
  • Peter D. Clift: Climatic, sea level and anthropogenic controls on fluvial sediment transport in East Asia
  • Wenyan Zhang and Chixin Chen: Model approaches for alongshore sediment transport - a case study of the sandy Baltic coast for the period of 1948-2015
  • Daria Ryabchuk, Evgeniy Petrov, Vladimir Zhamoida and Pavel Rekant: Geology and coastal processes of Eurasian Arctic Marginal Sea

(2) Marginal Seas and Society
The focus of this topic is on the relationship between geo-, eco, climate system and the anthroposphere in terms of the resource exploitation of the marginal seas. The change in the role of human societies from the passive adaptation of survival strategies during the late Pleistocene to the active role of changing the natural environment in the Anthropocene is of particular consideration. A key to understanding this active role is exploring the perception that societies have had of the environment as an opportunity or a threat, depending on the state of societal development and its regional variation. Future projections should be highlighted based on climate change scenarios as driving forces based on the IPCC models.


  • Geoff Bailey and Hayley Cawthra: The significance of sea-level change and ancient submerged landscapes in human dispersal: A geoarchaeological perspective 
  • Joanna J. Waniek, Emilie Strady, Kerstin Schiele and Friederike Kunz: Marginal sea ecosystem services under threats: case studies of anthropogenic fingerprint in marine ecosystems in proximity to  Megacities
  • Su Mei Liu: Biogeochemistry-ecosystem-human interactions in the Chinese marginal seas
  • Tarmo Soomere: Adapting to the variety of manifestations of climate change at shores of the Baltic Sea
  • Anders Omstedt: How to develop coastal sea system understanding connecting natural and human sciences?
  • Marcus Reckermann et al.: Multiple drivers of Earth system changes in marginal seas: the example of the Baltic Sea region
  • Sampo Pihlainen, Marianne Zandersen, Kari Hyytiäinen, Hans Estrup Andersen, Alena Bartosova, Bo Gustafsson, Mohamed Jabloun, Michelle McCrackin, H.E. Markus Meier, Jørgen E. Olesen, Sofia Saraiva, Dennis Swaney and Hans Thodsen: Impacts of changing society and climate on nutrient loading to the Baltic Sea
  • Kevin Parnell: The role of culture, tradition and indigenous knowledge in coastal management.
  • Jan Marcin Węsławski, Joanna Piwowarczyk and Katarzyna Boni: What is more important - education, tradition or public media for our opinion about Baltic Sea?

(3) Scaling / Mapping / Data –Management
For a reflection of geoprocesses by models from the global to the regional level, which allow both historical reconstruction and future projection, a harmonization of geodata and their international accessibility are required. A basic task is the visualization of maps of both empirical data and model results. The main focus of this topic is on formatting, harmonization and mapping of marginal sea data.


  • Chris Jenkins: Ocean Sediment Data, Integrated, Local to Global, for Modelling the Marginal Seas (dbSEABED Project)
  • Federica Foglini and Valentina Grande: Spatial data integration and harmonization in the Adriatic Sea  – how to make data FAIR (Findable, Accessible Interoperable and Researchable) for habitat and geological mapping
  • Kristine Asch and the EMODnet Geology participants: EMODnet: Mapping the European shelf geology
  • H. Gary Greene: Marine benthic habitat mapping - A case study from the Salish Sea
  • Joanna Dudzinska-Nowak and Wenyan Zhang: Remote sensing in monitoring and management of the coastal zone - the southern Baltic Sea example.


In order to enable scientists around the globe to participate considering the different time zones the conference will be held on two successively days:
Dec 16 and 17, 2020, 1 pm - 6 pm CET.

20 minutes (15 minutes lecture plus 5 minutes discussion) are planned for each presentation. At the end, final results will be discussed as a whole and suggestions for the next steps on the way to modeling marginal sea processes will be compiled.


25 invited contributions will be presented and discussed online. But the conference is open for all participants interested in the topics approached.
Interested scientists are asked to register at balticearth@hzg.de, indicating their interest to participate in this online event, stating their name, affiliation, e-mail adress and scientific area of interest.

Participation in the conference is free of charge.


It is planned to publish results of the conference as a Thematic Issue of the Journal OCEANOLOGIA (https://www.journals.elsevier.com/oceanologia/):
“Marginal Seas – Past and Future”
(eds.: Jan Harff, Markus Meier, Hans von Storch)
Deadline for the submission of papers: 31 May 2021.

Scientific Committee

Andris Andrusaitis, FI
Kristine Asch, D
Geoff Bailey, UK
Hayley Cawthra, ZA
Peter D. Clift, USA
Joanna Dudzinska-Nowak, PL
Federica Foglini, IT
Jan Harff, PL
Markus Meier, D
Anders Omstedt, SE
Andrzej Osadczuk, PL
Richard Peltier, CA
Teresa Radziejewska, PL
Daria Ryabchuk, RU
Corinna Schrum, D
Detlef Schulz-Bull, D
Tarmo Soomere, EST
Waldemar Surosz, PL
Hans von Storch, D
Joanna Waniek, D
Jan Marcin Węsławski, PL
Andrzej Witkowski, PL
Xinong Xie, CN
Jing Zhang, CN
Jinpeng Zhang, CN
Wenyan Zhang, D

Organizing Committee

Joanna Dudzinska-Nowak, PL
Jan Harff, PL
Silke Köppen, D
Lukasz Maciag, PL
Andrzej Osadczuk, PL
Teresa Radziejewska, PL
Marcus Reckermann, D
Andrzej Witkowski, PL
Jinpeng Zhang, CN

In case of questions, please contact marcus.reckermann@hzg.de

Presentations of the Conference (password protected)


Conference programme
download here...

Conference booklet: Programme, Abstracts, Participants.
Download here...

Interested scientists are asked to register at balticearth@hzg.de, indicating their interest to participate in this online event, stating their name, affiliation, e-mail adress and scientific area of interest.

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Last update of this page: 3 February 2021