June-Flood 2013 at the Elbe, Mulde and Danube
Sampling sites of the Environmental Specimen Bank were also affected by the flood
End of June the German Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG) in Koblenz issued a first report on the flood of June 2013. On a stretch of 250 km along the Elbe, between Coswig in Saxony-Anhalt and Lenzen in Brandenburg, the highest water levels ever were measured. A flood wave coming from the Czech Republic hit the floods of the rivers Mulde and Saale. The resulting peak in the Elbe exceeded previous floods in height and length. The same was true for wide parts of the Saale. At Passau, the water levels of the Danube were the highest recorded in the last 500 years. At all of these rivers the flood alert level 4 was reached and triggered an emergency alert. Large areas bordering the rivers were flooded and also sampling sites of the Environmental Specimen Bank were affected.
Preliminary inventory of the Environmental Specimen Bank
Because of the flooding the sedimentation boxes for sampling suspended particulate matter (SPM) were not accessible at several sampling sites especially of the Elbe. At these sites the June sampling of SPM had to be omitted. Sampling in late summer and autumn will reveal to what extend the populations of bream and zebra mussels are affected.
It is, however, already evident that sampling of zebra mussels will be more laborious because the settlement plates for mussels were severely damaged at several sites. If available, sampling will have to resort to zebra mussel populations from substrate from the river bank. Furthermore, the sampling sites for earthworms in Halle were flooded. The annual sampling in late autumn will reveal the impact on the respective earthworm populations.