Scientific Diving Center (SDC) of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg

“The earth's water is like a human's blood.” Hermann Lahm

  • Device for the measurement of submarine gas volume flows at the bottom of the sea
  • Underwater surveying conducted by a scientific diver
  • Scientific diver performs submarine heat flux density measurements

About the Scientific Diving Center

The Scientific Diving Center (SDC) of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg was founded in 2001, emerging from the lecture “Scientific Diving” that had been taught at the TU Freiberg since 1996. The SDC has since established itself as one of the leading scientific diving centers in Europe. The SDC organizes and conducts research and university activities in the diverse areas of underwater research.

Scientific diving comprises the use of scientific working methods at various levels and applications in physics, chemistry, biology, geosciences, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and engineering. All mentioned research fields are part of the profile of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and are actively supported by all faculties of the university.

In addition, the Scientific Diving Center is a training and research center for students, PhD candidates, and scientists from all over the world. To qualify scientific divers, the SDC offers lectures, hands-on training, and a variety of field trips.

Participants can obtain CMAS certificates as a Scientific Diver, Advanced Scientific Diver, and Scientific Diving Instructor which enable them to perform worldwide underwater research.


Data on the history of the SDC


  • Diving camp “Snorkeling and diving” at the Senftenberg lake


  • Beginning of the diver training as part of the sports program of the TU Freiberg


  • Beginning of the course “Snorkeling and Diving” at the TU Freiberg


  • Start of the course “Scientific Diving” as part of the sports program of the University Sports Center (USP)


  • Beginning of the course “Scientific Diving” as part of the extracurricular studies (Studium Generale)


  • Start of the diving expeditions as part of the training of scientific divers at the SDC
    • 2003 - 2005: Croatian Adriatic
    • 2006 - 2018: Panarea (Aeolian/Lipari Islands)
    • As of 2019: Croatian Adriatic


  • Beginning of the lecture “The Fascination of Water - Diving and Science and Aquatic Ecosystems” (later renamed “Aquatic Ecosystems - Methods for Sub-aquatic Scientific Work - The Fascination of Water”)
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Our services include:

  • Scientific diver measures the water temperature at the bottom of the seaScientific diver training for students of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and external participants as “CMAS Scientific Diver” or “CMAS Advanced Scientific Diver”
  • Development of underwater measuring devices, e.g. for temperature determination, water analysis, volume flow measurement, sampling and preparation (of sediments, water, biota etc.) as well as the integration of various sensor combinations and dynamic monitoring programs
  • Implementation, design and evaluation of monitorings of aquatic habitats with respect to both biotic and abiotic environmental factors (e.g. status analyses of marine reef systems, limnological considerations, water chemical and biological conditions of waters etc.)
  • Surveying and mapping of sub-aquatic locations
  • Provision of complete underwater research equipment, e.g. for diving, carrying out measurements, and monitoring tasks
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Overview of previous activities and research projects:

  • Training of more than 200 scientific divers
  • Engineering of accessories for underwater research, e.g. housings for sensors
  • 3 divers operating an airlift for removing sediments from geological formations at the bottom of the seaMeasurements of heat flow and temperature gradients (in sediments of the seabed)
  • Continuous measurement of gas flows at the seabed as well as CO2 and H2S levels in seawater
  • Water and gas sampling
  • Sampling methods for solid and loose rock
  • Investigation of the impact of tourism on the coastal regions, e.g. the Mediterranean coast of Croatia
  • Exploration of the influence of submarine volcanic activity on the water structure (ocean acidification and its consequences for biodiversity, such as extreme microorganisms)
  • Long-term monitoring e.g. of massive volume flows in gases, temperature distributions, heat fluxes in sediments, and the growth and distribution of indicator plants (such as seagrass, corals etc.)
  • Device for the measurement of submarine gas volume flows at the bottom of the seaExamination of groundwater contamination by various aquifers in the Dead Sea under extreme diving conditions
  • Reef controls and training of divers in the Red Sea
  • Investigations in lakes and artificial waters (e.g. pit lakes) in Germany
  • Development and support of spin off projects, e.g. the GeoWiD GmbH, Freiberg
  • Establishment of a scientific diving unit at the Marine Science Center of the University of Basra, Iraq
  • Discovery and exploration of a living coral reef off the Iraqi coast as well as investigations in a karst cave within an endorheic desert lake (Sawa Lake, Iraq)
  • Planning and conduct of international conferences, e.g. the international workshop on “Research in shallow marine and fresh water systems” in 2009
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