The work packages

The IP is divided into four closely connected work packages to tackle the challenges mentioned before. These work packages combine systematic data-driven top-down analyses of integral catchment reactions with process research in relevant functional areas and subsequent bottom-up modelling.

WP 1 provides a unifying basis for the work in WPs 2-4 by establishing common field sites in different catchments (with respect to geology, land use, topography) with comparable monitoring and sensing protocols and by developing and improving sensing and fingerprinting techniques. Analyses of the generated data will identify functional zones and critical times for the fluxes of C, N, and P. These target substances still pose significant problems for water quality and the ecological health of aquatic systems.

Mobilisation, transport and transformation processes in the catchment-specific functional zones are investigated in WP 2, whereas WP 3 and WP 4 address the integration of the effects of these processes at the catchment-scale. WP 3 combines remote sensing techniques with pedogenetic modelling to characterise and parameterise the structural subsurface heterogeneity as input for physically-based models of water and matter fluxes. WP 4 focuses on the use of integral signals to infer transfer functions and dynamic residence time distributions as a concept to describe matter fluxes based on a top-down approach.

Results from WPs 1 to 4 are synthesised to derive new prognostic tools for matter fluxes, which can be used to evaluate dynamic water quality scenarios and to develop management concepts for entire catchments. A steering group consisting of representatives from all WPs guides the process. The structure and complexity of these tools depends on the substance class and catchment type, ranging from simple functional catchment classifications to mechanistic conceptual or fully process-based models. The tools can help to develop new management concepts aiming at minimising matter exports from catchments to achieve a surface water quality that has acceptable impacts on the aquatic ecosystem and does not impair further use of the water downstream, be it agricultural, industrial, or recreational.

The following graphic illustrates the structure of the IP. By clicking on one of the WPs you will be redirected to the respective sub-page.

Schema IP T31 WP1 WP2 WP3 WP4