Wadden Sea Landscapes

Young and unique

The Wadden Sea has many faces. The landscape will look very different depending upon where you are standing and the stage of the tides. If it is high tide, then you will not see much more than water, with maybe a sprinkling of birds and boats. But should it be low tide, then it is a whole different picture. For the best view of the area, you really need to observe it from above. Then you will see a magnificent artwork consisting of exposed banks bordered by narrow or broad winding channels and gullies that are constantly branching off. Pieces of land along the shore are transected by creeks. Some of the banks are dark from the growth of shellfish or eelgrass. Others are sandy and appear barren.

Should you find yourself in a sailboat, then you can't help noticing how shallow it can be and how strong the current is. There's a reason for the name 'Wadden' Sea, a wadable sea. Try hiking the flats then you will experience how muddy some spots are. Watch out! You may even sink down to your knees in some places. Elsewhere it is sandy and exposed to the wind and waves, producing splendid patterns.

Come back after a year and you will see that the channels have shifted or may have disappeared entirely! Sand flats and mud flats have changed shape. Salt marshes have risen or partly washed away. This is the dynamic Wadden Sea, an area that keeps on changing thanks to the natural forces, such as wind, tides, waves and sand transportation, not to forget plant and animal activities. Here in the Wadden Sea, they all have free reign.