Switzerland, Lowland river catchment site influenced by nutrient dynamics and organic-micropollutants

This field site is a partly restored river in an alpine rural setting on arable farmland in a lowland catchment. It is situated on a shallow unconfined/confined sand and gravel aquifer which overlies limestone-sandstone bedrock. Previous research shows that there is high spatial and temporal variability in flow velocity and direction though the riverbed and across the groundwater-surface water interface, linked mainly to large fluctuations in the river stage. However, in general, the river water inflitrates into the aquifer. The monitoring infrastructure at the site includes a network of 50 piezometers arranged in transects, many fitted with dataloggers, which allow simultaneous sampling of water chemistry and hydraulic head across the groundwater-surface water interface. This is supported by observation towers and monitoring stations for meteorological, ecological and soil measurements. The piezometer network provides high spatial and temporal resolution monitoring of solute distributions, fluxes, in situ biodegradation processes, hydraulic properties and transport pathways through the riverbed for nutrients and organic micropollutants. The site is currently a research facility for studies of pollutant natural attenuation at the groundwater-surface water interface and pollutant fate and transport by river bank inflitration.


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