Raum Schnackenburg

Most natural section of the River Elbe

The sub-area is located in the Middle Elbe and lies in the landscape of the North German Plain. The river flows to the northwest and the river bed has only a low gradient.

The river meanders quite strongly in the flat terrain of the wide valley forming loops, oxbow lakes, bayous and sedimentations areas in the floodplains. These features as well as anthropogenic alterations like flood protection dikes, river straightening, groynes, and grassland in the flood plains contribute to the typical character of the landscape. Large contiguous riparian forests have been preserved in the floodplains.

In the sub-area Schnackenburg the pollution of the Elbe at the former German/German border is documented.

Sampling site

Cumlosen (km 470) Northernmost sampling site in the Middle Elbe


Zebra mussel Common mussel species as invasive animal in rivers and lakes with high information level for water pollution
Bream Bioindicator in rivers and lakes
Suspended particulate matter Fine insoluble mineral or organic particles in the water phase


Metals Eighty percent of all elements on earth are metals
Nonmetals Only eighteen elements in the periodic table
Organometallic compounds Organic substances with at least one metall atom
Chlorohydrocarbons Group of organic compounds with at least one covalently bonded chlorine atom
DDT and metabolites Toxic and persistent organochloropesticide
Hexachlorocyclohexane Several isomeric compounds among the group of chlorinated hydrocarbons
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Group of organic compounds with at least three condensed six-membered rings
Biocides and plant protection products Chemical agents against harmful organisms and for plant protection
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds Organic compounds which are fully (per-) or partially (poly-) fluorinated
Polycyclic musks Class of synthetic fragrances
Stable Isotopes Atoms of one element with different weights
Flame Retardants Flame retardants reduce the flammability of objects
Supplementary parameters Additional information for the interpretation of contamination data

Sampling period

1993 - 2019