Research Areas

Lower Selke River
Lower Selke River
Photo. A. Künzelmann

Surface Water-Groundwater Interactions

The transition zone between groundwater and streams plays a key role for stream ecology and the turnover of solutes transported in the stream network and the adjacent aquifers.  Our objective is to understand and quantify the combined effects of structure and hydrologic variability on water fluxes, redox zonation and solute turnover along morphological units and stream reaches.

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Selke aerial view (c) A. Künzelmann, UFZ
Schäfertal Catchment
Photo. A. Künzelmann

Solute Dynamics in Catchments

Predicting the solute flux response of a catchment to dynamic hydrologic forcing is a challenge due to the wide range of complex processes that affect the availability, mobility and subsequent transport of solutes. However, there is some evidence that simpler general principles and mechanisms can be identified for catchments that adequately describe the integral effect of the combined processes. Our goal is to identify the dominant controls of integrated catchment-scale solute response and to develop new data and model driven concepts to describe and quantify the associated dynamics.

Distributed oxygen sensor, Vieweg et al. 2013 ES&T
"Tubular Optode" Oxygen Sensor
Vieweg et al. ES&T 2013

New Methods & Models

We constantly seek to improve our method portfolio. New measuring and modeling techniques provide additional insight into into pattern and processes. For example, we develop an optical oxygen sensor which enables the unattended, repeated acquisition of time series of in situ oxygen profiles in water and sediment at a subcentimeter resolution covering a depth of up to one meter.