At the beginning of May, the Austrian Soil Science Society (ÖBG) invited to its annual excursion. The excursion led to the Lower Austrian Alpine foothills to the Hydrological Open Air Laboratory (HOAL) in Petzenkirchen, which has existed in its current form since 2009 as a cooperation between the Vienna University of Technology and the BAW.
The aim of the excursion was the presentation of different soils in the agriculturally used catchment area as well as the inspection of the hydrological measuring facilities. Three characteristic yet specific soil profiles were prepared for the excursion, showing different degrees of water influence. These were selected by Günther Aust, Soil Mapping BFW, and the staff of the Institute for Cultural Engineering and Soil Water Balance and described according to the Austrian mapping manual.
After the welcome and introductory words by the Director of the Federal Office for Water Management, Dr. Peter Strauss, the first of three soil profiles was visited. The profile defined as "far from water" was the typical brown earth on a slope. Furthermore, a soil type identified as Augley, as well as an area in the HOAL identified as fen, could be visited.
As a further point of the program the discharge measuring points and the weather station were visited and informed about the existing equipment and measuring methods. After a final discussion about what had been seen, the return march to the Institute for Cultural Engineering and Soil Water Management took place, where the excursion was concluded with food, drink and science.