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Landscape Hydrology

Hydrological processes at the plot, hillslope and small catchment scale control runoff generation and the export of solutes and particulate matter. The processes involved are diverse and their complex interactions are often governed by thresholds and exhibit hysteresis behaviour. Geogenic and structural controls (topography, geology, subsurface structures, soil layering, preferential flow paths), climate controls and the influence of vegetation and biogenic structures influence storage dynamics, flow paths and connectivity and thus ultimately discharge dynamics, flood generation and water availability.


We investigate these processes at various field sites, combining state of the art experimental methods and modeling techniques. Topics of special interest include hillslope-stream connectivity, storage dynamics, sediment transport, plant water uptake and redistribution, preferential flow, groundwater-surface water interactions, groundwater recharge, residence times and the use of proxies to reconstruct past fluctuations in water availability. Methods include various tracers (geochemistry, stable isotopes, radon and heat), geophysical subsurface exploration, fibre optic temperature sensing, novel methods for soil moisture estimation such as cosmic ray neutron probes and GNSS reflectometry, and intensive monitoring networks covering a wide range of landscape units.

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