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Part of the West Rugen bodden chain (centre), separated from the Baltic Sea (left) by the seahorse-shaped island of Hiddensee; seen from Landsat Hiddensee Landsat.jpg
Part of the West Rügen bodden chain (centre), separated from the Baltic Sea (left) by the seahorse-shaped island of Hiddensee; seen from Landsat
Zeesenboot, a traditional type of fishing boat used in bodden areas Zeesenboot Bodden.jpg
Zeesenboot, a traditional type of fishing boat used in bodden areas
Island of Hiddensee, Vitte Lagoon in the rear, Baltic Sea beach in the front. Hiddensee, Kloster (2011-05-21).JPG
Island of Hiddensee, Vitte Lagoon in the rear, Baltic Sea beach in the front.
Aerial view of Saaler Bodden with Permin Bay, separated from the Baltic Sea (bottom left) by the narrow Fischland peninsula Fischland Luftbild.jpg
Aerial view of Saaler Bodden with Permin Bay, separated from the Baltic Sea (bottom left) by the narrow Fischland peninsula

Bodden are briny bodies of water often forming lagoons, along the southwestern shores of the Baltic Sea, primarily in Germany's state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. These lagoons can be found especially around the island of Rügen, Usedom and the Fischland-Darss-Zingst peninsula. Some of them are protected reserves, forming the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park.

Brackish water Water with salinity between freshwater and seawater

Brackish water is water having more salinity than freshwater, but not as much as seawater. It may result from mixing seawater with fresh water together, as in estuaries, or it may occur in brackish fossil aquifers. The word comes from the Middle Dutch root "brak". Certain human activities can produce brackish water, in particular civil engineering projects such as dikes and the flooding of coastal marshland to produce brackish water pools for freshwater prawn farming. Brackish water is also the primary waste product of the salinity gradient power process. Because brackish water is hostile to the growth of most terrestrial plant species, without appropriate management it is damaging to the environment.

Water chemical compound

Water is a transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's streams, lakes, and oceans, and the fluids of most living organisms. It is vital for all known forms of life, even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients. Its chemical formula is H2O, meaning that each of its molecules contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms, connected by covalent bonds. Water is the name of the liquid state of H2O at standard ambient temperature and pressure. It forms precipitation in the form of rain and aerosols in the form of fog. Clouds are formed from suspended droplets of water and ice, its solid state. When finely divided, crystalline ice may precipitate in the form of snow. The gaseous state of water is steam or water vapor. Water moves continually through the water cycle of evaporation, transpiration (evapotranspiration), condensation, precipitation, and runoff, usually reaching the sea.

Lagoon A shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by barrier islands or reefs

A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by barrier islands or reefs. Lagoons are commonly divided into coastal lagoons and atoll lagoons. They have also been identified as occurring on mixed-sand and gravel coastlines. There is an overlap between bodies of water classified as coastal lagoons and bodies of water classified as estuaries. Lagoons are common coastal features around many parts of the world.


They have a distinctive geological origin and are enclosed by peninsulae, spits and islands, leaving only narrow connections to adjacent bodden or the open sea. Freshwater inflow from the mainland and saltwater inflow from the open sea, which depends on wind direction and force as well as the proximity of the bodden to the sea, result in fluctuating salt gradients and distinctive ecosystems.

Spit (landform) A coastal bar or beach landform deposited by longshore drift

A spit or sandspit is a deposition bar or beach landform off coasts or lake shores. It develops in places where re-entrance occurs, such as at a cove's headlands, by the process of longshore drift by longshore currents. The drift occurs due to waves meeting the beach at an oblique angle, moving sediment down the beach in a zigzag pattern. This is complemented by longshore currents, which further transport sediment through the water alongside the beach. These currents are caused by the same waves that cause the drift.

During the Littorina Sea transgression, an island archipelago was formed by the carving of narrow glacial basins and channels resulting from meltwater. Bodden were formed in a comparatively short period between spits and offshore sandbars. These shallow glacial scoops were then subjected to extensive sedimentation during the Holocene, resulting in lakes with depths of no more than 4–6 metres. Thermal and saline stratification is extremely unstable under these conditions, and bodden have the typical dynamics of small bodies of water with a sea connection, which is a rapid filling and draining due to tidal and wind action, and inflow of fresh water. The frequent movement of water can lead to a scouring effect, but can also with heavy pollution show a tendency toward eutrophication. [1] Due to erosion of cliffs and sedimentary deposition, the shape of the bodden coasts remains unstable. Sudden changes have been caused by stormfloods, which repeatedly closed connections to the sea or opened new ones in the past.

Littorina Sea

Littorina Sea is a geological brackish water stage of the Baltic Sea, which existed around 7500–4000 BP and followed the Mastogloia Sea, transitional stage of the Ancylus Lake. The Littorina Sea is named after common periwinkle, then a prevailing mollusc in the Baltic waters, which indicates salinity of the sea.

Archipelago A group of islands

An archipelago, sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scattered islands.


Meltwater is water released by the melting of snow or ice, including glacial ice, tabular icebergs and ice shelves over oceans. Meltwater is often found in the ablation zone of glaciers, where the rate of snow cover is reducing. Meltwater can be produced during volcanic eruptions, in a similar way in which the more dangerous lahars form.

While bodden-type bays can be found in Mecklenburg and Denmark, the most typical bodden are located off the Pomeranian mainland between the mouth of the Recknitz river and the island of Usedom. Several adjacent bodden between the Fischland-Darß-Zingst peninsula, Hiddensee, the northern and western peninsulae of Rügen and the Pomeranian mainland are grouped as Bodden chains (Boddenketten):

Mecklenburg Historical region of Germany

Mecklenburg is a historical region in northern Germany comprising the western and larger part of the federal-state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The largest cities of the region are Rostock, Schwerin, Neubrandenburg, Wismar and Güstrow.

Denmark constitutional monarchy in Europe

Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2 (16,573 sq mi), land area of 42,394 km2 (16,368 sq mi), and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi), and a population of 5.8 million.

Recknitz river in Germany

The Recknitz is a river in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in northeastern Germany. The Recknitz's glacial valley stretches as far south as the heights at Glasewitz near Güstrow. The river has no definite source, but rather builds up from streams and drainage ditches. The ditches of the Schaalbeke and Pludderbach have their water flow split between Liessow and Laage, but most of the water flows north as the Recknitz, while the lesser flow, called the Augraben, runs south to the river Nebel.

Darss-Zingst Bodden Chain

The Darss-Zingst Bodden Chain is a waterbody on the Baltic Sea coast northeast of Rostock in Germany. It consists of a string of several lagoons or bodden arranged in an east-west direction that are separated from the open sea by the Fischland-Darß-Zingst peninsula. The surface area of these lagoons is 197 km² and the average water depth is only about two metres.

Saaler Bodden bay

The Saaler Bodden forms the southwestern part of the Darss-Zingst Bodden Chain and lies east of the Fischland peninsula about 30 kilometres northeast of Rostock. Its average depth is around two metres, which restricts angling and the use of pleasure craft. It is a lagoon-like stretch of water known as a bodden, which is typical of this part of the Baltic coastline. South of the Saaler Bodden is the town of Ribnitz-Damgarten, which is divided into two by the mouth of the 72 kilometre long Recknitz river. This southern part of the bodden is called the Lake Ribnitz.


The Permin is a bay in the Saaler Bodden lagoon south of Wustrow in northeast Germany. Originally the Permin was a channel between the Saaler Bodden and the Baltic Sea and the southern estuarine channel of the River Recknitz. It borders on the Fischland in the south.

Another bodden is the Bay of Greifswald (Greifswalder Bodden), the northern parts of which constitute the Rügischer Bodden with Schoritzer Wiek, Wreechensee, Having Inlet with Neuensiener See and Selliner See, and Hagensche Wiek. To the south, the Bay of Greifswald comprises Gristower Inwiek, Kooser See and Dänische Wieck (Danish Bay).

The Bay of Greifswald is connected to the West Rügen bodden chain by the Strelasund, a bodden-type strait with Glewitzer Wiek, Puddeminer Wiek and Deviner See; it is further connected to the Oder Lagoon by the Peenestrom, another bodden-type strait with Spandowerhagener Wiek, Krösliner See, Hohendorfer See, Krumminer Wiek and Achterwasser.

The bodden are important sanctuaries for many species of birds and are especially important resting places for migratory birds like cranes and geese. This was the reason for the establishment of the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park (Nationalpark Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft), comprising most of the bodden between Darß and Rügen.

Traditionally bodden have been good fishing areas, rich in mesolithic community sites, in particular the Pomeranian bodden of Rügen, Greifswald and Peenestrom. From these waters anglers regularly land 10–15 kg pike. [2]

Related Research Articles

Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park national park in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

The Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park is Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's largest national park, situated at the coast of the Baltic Sea. It consists of several peninsulas, islands and lagoon shore areas in the Baltic Sea, belonging to the district of Vorpommern-Rügen.

Darß peninsula

The Darß or Darss is the middle part of the peninsula of Fischland-Darß-Zingst on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The peninsula's name comes from the names of the three regions making up the peninsula. There is a large forest in the Darß. In recent times, the name "Darß" has also been used to refer to the entire peninsula.

Bay of Greifswald bay

The Bay of Greifswald or Greifswald Bodden is a basin in the southwestern Baltic Sea, off the shores of Germany in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. With an area of 514 km², it is the largest Bodden of the German Baltic coast.

Zingst peninsula in Germany

Zingst is the easternmost portion of the three-part Fischland-Darß-Zingst Peninsula, located in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, between the cities of Rostock and Stralsund on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea.

Fischland-Darß-Zingst peninsula on the German coast of the Baltic Sea

Fischland-Darß-Zingst or Fischland-Darss-Zingst is a 45 km (28 mi) long peninsula in the coastal district of Vorpommern-Rügen, in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The three parts of the peninsula, from west to east, are Fischland, Darß and Zingst.

Wieck auf dem Darß Place in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

Wieck auf dem Darß is a municipality in the Vorpommern-Rügen district, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.

Vorpommern-Rügen District in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

Vorpommern-Rügen is a district in the north of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It is bounded by the Baltic Sea and the districts Vorpommern-Greifswald, Mecklenburgische Seenplatte and Rostock. The district seat is the Hanseatic city of Stralsund.

Großer Jasmunder Bodden lagoon in Germany

The Großer Jasmunder Bodden belongs to the North Rügen Bodden and is a water body on the southern edge of the Baltic Sea in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It is a bodden, a type of lagoon that occurs in northern Europe especially on the coast of Pomerania. It lies within the island of Rügen, is around 14 kilometres long, an average of six kilometres wide and is up to seven metres deep. The Großer Jasmunder Bodden has an area of 58.4 square kilometres; if the Breetzer Bodden, Breeger Bodden, Lebbiner Bodden, Neuendorfer Wiek and Tetzitzer See are included the total area of water comes to over 94 square kilometres.

North Rügen Bodden

The North Rügen Bodden are a string of West Pomeranian lagoons, known as bodden, on the Baltic Sea coast of northeastern Germany. They are almost entirely surrounded by the island of Rügen and its peninsulas. For example, in the north they are bounded by the Bug, the peninsulas of Wittow and Jasmund and the spit of Schaabe. To the south is the Muttland, the main body of Rügen Island. Amongst the highest points in the surrounding ridges of terminal moraine are the Rugard near Bergen, the Tempelberg near Bobbin, the Hoch Hilgor near Neuenkirchen, the Banzelvitz Hills near Rappin and the Mühlenberg between Buschvitz and Stedar.

Grabow (bodden) bodden

The Grabow is a bodden - a lagoon-like waterbody - off the Baltic Sea south of the Zingst and Großer Werder peninsulas and the island group of Kleiner Werder.

West Rügen Bodden

The West Rügen Bodden are a string of lagoons and embayments, known as bodden, in Western Pomerania on the Baltic Sea coast. They lie in the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park west and southwest of the island of Rügen, and east and southeast of Hiddensee.

Kirr island

Kirr is an island in the Darss-Zingst Bodden Chain south of the Zingst Peninsula on the German Baltic Sea coast. It is separated from the peninsula by the Zingster Strom. The island is a nature reserve within the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park. It was formerly and is sometimes still called Großer Kirr or Große Kirr. This is to distinguish it from the northwestern part of the island, which was still a separate albeit much smaller island in the Zingster Strom in the second half of the 20th century, that used to be called Kleiner Kirr or Kleine Kirr.


Fischland is an isthmus on the southern Baltic Sea coast on the Bay of Mecklenburg in northeastern Germany. It is part of the peninsula of Fischland-Darß-Zingst. Fischland was an island until the 14th century and was bounded by the navigable estuarine branches of the River Recknitz: the Permin in the south and the Loop in the north. In more recent times its southern boundary has usually been considered to be the Recknitz Meadowland and the Rostock Heath. To the west and east its boundaries are more obvious: on the one side is its active cliffed coast on the Baltic, and on the other the coastline alongside the Saaler Bodden, only a few centimetres above sea level. Fischland is about 5 km long, between 500 metres and 2 km wide and runs from southwest to northeast.


The Schaabe is a bar, almost twelve kilometres long, on the German Baltic Sea island of Rügen. It joins the peninsulas of Jasmund and Wittow.

Western Pomerania

Western Pomerania, also called Cispomerania or Hither Pomerania, is the western extremity of the historic region of the Duchy, later Province of Pomerania, nowadays divided between the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Poland.

All Saints Flood (1304)

The All Saints Day flood of 1304 was a storm surge that hit the southwestern Baltic Sea coast on 1 November that year. The region of Western Pomerania was particularly badly affected by the flooding. 271 lives were lost as a result of the flood.