Environmental monitoring for the delaboration of munitions on the seabed (UDEMM)

In 2011, experts estimated that approximately 300,000 metric tons of dumped conventional munitions are resting on the seabed of the German part of the Baltic Sea. Another 1.3 million metric tons of munitions is belived to be deposited in the German part of the Noth Sea, However, the environental hazards do not stop at national borders, since also Polish, Danish and Dutch waters are affected by a potential release of dangerous chemicals from the rotting ammunition into the water column.

Thus, detecting and delaborating this dangerous legacy from past generations is an enormous challenge for politicians, authorities, historians and marine scientists on a European scale. International projects, funded by the European Commision and NATO also contribute to assessing the potential risks and developing a systematic method to decontaminate munition dumping sites.

In the framework of the UDEMM project, scientists of different partner institutions investigate four relevant aspects concerning the effects of underwater munitions. This project is conducted in close collaboration with the Projektträger Jülich (PtJ) and the technology project RoBEMM ("Robotic underwater salvage and disposal process with the technology to remove explosive ordnance in the sea, in particular in coastal and shallow waters")  to achieve the best possible result to develop a both economically viable and autonomous (without divers) as well as environmental friendly (without detonating) method to in-situ (underwater) delaborate potentially dangerous mines and other explosives.

Funding of approximately 1.6 million € for the UDEMM project is provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the special program "Research for Sustainable Development (FONA)".

Please be invited to read more about

As the German Federal State struggling most with the consequences of sea dumped munitions, the state government of Schleswig-Holstein provides general information on this topic on behalf of the German Program on Underwater Munitions: www.underwatermunitions.de.

International symposium for sea-dumped munition and UXO 2018 (2nd - 4th May 2018)

Together with the 'Zukunft Meer' initiative of Schleswig-Holstein the UDEMM project partners from GEOMAR, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW) and the Toxicological Institute from the CAU Kiel, organized am international 3-days-symposium in Berlin.

Around 90 participants from science, politics, marine navy and industry joined the conference that was hosted by the Schleswig-Holstein's Representation to the Federal Government in Berlin. Topics such as the history, detection methods, the distribution and risks of underwater munition have been discussed and national and international initiatives about how to deal with the problem were presented.

Interested citizens were invited to visit the public evening session with an introduction from the secretary of state Schleswig-Holstein Ingbert Liebing. He emphasized the need of knowledge and strategies in order to effectively protect the marine environment and the people who use the oceans as a resource. By the end of the symposium, new contacts and networks were made, leading to new projects in the future. The goal is to provide precise science to support the industry and authorities within this challenge of underwater munition in national waters.

Presentations from all Sessions incl. the Public Evening Session (german) can be downloaded in the News Section (top right).

Presenting UDEMM at MEER KONTAKTE (08 - 09 November 2017) in Kiel

In collaboration with the "Sea our future" initiative of the federal ministry of Schleswig-Holstein, the expert comittee "Munition im Meer", and the start-up EGEOS the UDEMM project was presented at the company fair MEER KONTAKTE including the showing of a demo mine.

Here, interested visitors could inform themselves about the work of GEOMAR and the toxicological institute of the CAU in Kiel within the framework of "Munition im Meer".

from left to right: Jens Sternheim (MELUND), Dr. Bernd Buchholz
(Minister for  Economy, Traffic, Employment, Technology and Tourism of the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein), Leif Nebel (Fa. EGGERS), Mareike Kampmeier (GEOMAR), Claus Böttcher (MELUND)

UDEMM-Symposium am IOW in Warnemünde

Hier finden Sie einige der Vorträge vom 15. Mai 2017 im Rahmen des UDEMM-Symposiums:

The State Ministry of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment, Nature and Digitalization (MELUND) published the fifth report on munitions in German North Sea and Baltic Sea waters (German language only). You can find the media release here. For additional information please visit the official homepage.

International Collaboration

Attendance of the first conference of the thematically closely related international project DAIMON (10/17/2016 - 10/19/2016) in Goslar.

The participants of the first DAIMON conference in Goslar (17 - 19 Oct 2016).


INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM for  sea-dumped munition and UXO

Munition in the sea is a global problem for marine economy and has an unknown environmental impact.

From May 2nd to 4th, 2018 an interdisciplinary symposium in Berlin (Germany) shall give a platform to all kinds of expertises from science, industry, military and politics to discuss methods and results from ongoing projects. It will be hosted by Schleswig-Holstein's Representation to the Federal Government and will be open for the public on May 3rd, 17:30 hrs.

Registration: udemm@geomar.de

Form for active contribution: PDF

Session Programm (25.04.2018): PDF


Opening Session

Public Evening Session (german)

Session I

Session II

Session III

Session IV


05/16/2017: The SHZ publishes two articles reporting also on the UDEMM symposium (05/15/2017 & 05/16/2017)

05/15/2017: The NDR reports on the UDEMM symposium in Warnemünde (Video available)

05/12/2017: The KN reports on the progress of the UDEMM research project

Further press releases about UDEMM (german only):

04/10/2017: The Federal Ministry of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment and Rural Areas (MELUR) of Schleswig-Holstein publishes the fifth research report on ammunition in the German North and Baltic Sea waters (german only).

04/10/2017: The results of this report are also taken on by the press (Ostsee-Zeitung) and the radio (NDR) - (german only).

10/15/2016: The Berliner Zeitung publishes an article about the joined UDEMM / ROBEMM project and the efforts to delaborate old submarine mines and ordnances (german only).

06/30/2016: The NDR-Welle Nord attends a cruise with the research barge "Polarfuchs".

Please follow this link to learn more.

04/05/2016: The "Norddeutsche Rundfunk (NDR)", the SHZ and the "Kieler Nachrichten (KN)" report on the successful commencement of the work within the UDEMM project, its purpose and measures.

10/08/2015: The "Kieler Nachrichten (KN)" publishes an article about the efforts of the joined ROBEMM / UDEMM project to successfully develop an automated method to delaborate underwater mines and ordnances.

Project number:
03F0747A, B, C


03/2016 - 02/2019