Hydrology of small catchments and erosion

Soil is degraded by water and wind and may be transported to surface waters. That puts a strain on our waters and impairs the functions of the soil.

It is our goal to conserve the soils which are threatened by erosion to prevent pollutants from entering our waters and preserving the soil functions. Additionally, our focus lies on minimizing the surface runoff during extreme rainfall.

We measure soil erosion in hydrological catchment areas, develop and improve models for erosion prognosis. Furthermore, we examine the connections between erosion by surface runoff and its influence on our waters. Based on these findings we develop and test measures for surface water protection.

Soil erosion impairs the functional capability of soil and waters. It is considered the biggest threat for damage on our soils worldwide.

Current Focus:

Rainfall simulation

Experiments with simulated rainfall allow us to observe soil erosion and surface run off on small areas. These experiments enable us to strongly control the environmental background conditions.

Plot of land experiments

Plot of land experiments make it possible to observe soil erosion and surface runoff to a size of single fields. Controlling environmental background conditions is only partly possible.

Hydrological catchments

The observation of runoff, as well as the transport of particulate materials and nutrients in hydrological catchments is a crucial instrument for spatial management of the water and material cycle.