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Projects and ongoing research


  • Geomorphic and hydrologic implications of permafrost degradation in the Alps (GeoHype)
    Project Manager
    Blöthe J, Kraushaar S
    Start/End of Project
    01.06.2018 until 01.06.2020
    Description
    High-mountain environments are highly sensitive towards a warming climate, which is dramatically reflected by the shrinkage of alpine glaciers. With more and more glaciers disappearing, attention has moved towards the hydrological importance of ice stored in the periglacial environment, projected to exceed glacier ice volume in the European Alps by the mid-21st century. However, surprisingly little is known about the current state of the ice stored in the periglacial zones of alpine landscapes. Our project aims to disentangle the contribution of active layer and permafrost body to the summer runoff from the upper Kaiserberg catchment in the Austrian Alps. To achieve this goal, we combine repeated electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) surveys on the Kaiserberg rock glacier with continuous discharge measurements from two hydrological stations that we installed in the basin. We further collect water samples over the course of the summer that are analysed for δ18O and δ2H isotopes and the radio nuclide 129I , that allow us to differentiate thawing permafrost from active-layer or precipitation derived discharge.
    Financing
    Dr. Hohmann Förderung der Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Köln; Hanna Bremer Stiftung
    Publications
    Journal Articles
  • Suspended sediment transport in German lowland rivers (in cooperation with BFG)
    Project Manager
    Hoffmann Th, Blöthe J
    Start/End of Project
    since 01.10.2017 (unlimited)
    Description
    Suspended sediment load dominates the sediment export from most lowland rivers around the world, also constituting a significant transport medium for pollutants and contaminants. This has important implications for the management of river systems that aims at achieving a good ecological and chemical status, as required for instance by the European Water Frame directive. A thorough understanding of the sources, transport mechanisms and sinks of suspended sediment is therefore a crucial prerequisite for successful management. However, sources and sinks of suspended sediment and the resulting concentration in the river water are highly variable throughout the year and in between years. In this project, we are interested in the spatiotemporal variability of suspended sediment transport in major German lowland rivers. In a first publication, we find that distinct breaks in the scaling relationship between suspended sediment concentration and discharge are induced by the organic matter concentration
    Contact Person
    Hoffmann Th
    Publications
    Journal Articles
    • Hoffmann T O, Baulig Y, Fischer H, Blöthe J H: Scale-breaks of suspended sediment rating in large rivers in Germany induced by organic matter Earth Surface Dynamics, 2020; 8: 661-678: https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2020-3