Offshore wind farm piles are secondary hard substrate and hence an attractive colonization surface for many species. Especially in marine areas dominated by soft sediments, wind farms may lead to a significant increase in biomass by enlarging habitats from benthos layers into the pelagic column. A concomitant effect is the increase in oxygen consumption through respiration of living biomass and especially through degradation of dead biomass, mainly Mytilus edulis. This leads to impacts on the regional oxygen budget, and local anoxia in the direct vicinity of wind farm piles has been documented in scientific literature. The present study investigates the regional impact of multiple wind farms on oxygen concentration levels and on the appearance of hypoxia. A five-year data sampling with a steel cylinder and fouling plates delivered data for a 3D ecosystem model. The results show that wind farms do not lead to a significant decrease in oxygen on the mesoscale level. But additional anoxia may occur locally, which may lead to the release of hydrogen sulfide on microscale level and potential subsequent regional impacts.
Offshore Wind Farms in the Southwestern Baltic Sea: A Model Study of Regional Impacts on Oxygen Conditions
Title: Offshore Wind Farms in the Southwestern Baltic Sea: A Model Study of Regional Impacts on Oxygen Conditions
January 01, 2015
Journal: Journal of Sea Research
Janßen, H.; Schröder, T.; Zettler, M.; Pollehne, F. (2015). Offshore Wind Farms in the Southwestern Baltic Sea: A Model Study of Regional Impacts on Oxygen Conditions. Journal of Sea Research, 95, 248-257.