A contribution by Iulia Miclea, Margaux Monzée, Andra Nicolescu
The tidal phenomenon is caused by the combined gravitational attraction of the moon, the sun and the rotation of the Earth. Estuaries and coastal areas are strongly influenced by tides. These participate in the creation of spaces whose morphology and ecosystem are particular and they also conditionate the human uses and settlements.
The Elbe estuary, which also constitutes a part of the Wittenberger Heide natural reserve is one of these particular spaces. The area is strongly shaped by the tides and many traces of its influence can be found in the environment.
First of all, one of these particular characteristics lies in the biodiversity of the ecosystem. The water in this area is what we call „non- salted water“. It is a fresh water, in which certain species of plants and animals have evolved to live. In this case, we can find two plants that grow only in the Elbe estuary: Oenanthe conioides (Schierlings-Wasserfenchel) and Deschampia wibeliana (Elbe-Rasenschmiele). Apart from that, the continuous tides (increased by the deepening of the Elbe estuary) contribute in the erosion of the beach area and also bring many sediments that are changing more and more the ecosystemic balance.
But tides do not only affect the environment in terms of ecological aspects. Leisure, human activities, landscape and sensory experience change depending on the time of day and whether the tide is low or high. Hence with this diagram we are illustrating our observations on the site depending on the level of the tides.