Publications 2023

A first estimate of the effect of offshore wind farms on sedimentary organic carbon stocks in the Southern North Sea

Heinatz, K., Scheffold, M. I. E., 2023, Frontiers in Marine Science.

Our study provides a first estimate of the net effect of offshore wind farms (OWFs) on organic carbon (OC) in surrounding sediments, considering the entire life cycle of OWFs (construction, operation and decommissioning phases). For this purpose, we balanced the increased OC flux to the sediment due to colonisation of new organisms at wind turbine foundations during the operation phase and the OC loss due to sediment-altering activities during construction and decommissioning. The balance showed that over the lifetime of the OWFs, about 4.6 ± 1.4 times more carbon is fixed in the sediment of the OWFs than is released.