Environmental Monitoring

Environmental monitoring allows observing the status of the earths environment and permits the dectection of changes (e.g., those induced by climate change) at an early stage. By installing technical infrastructure for the in-situ observation of climatological (e.g., temperature and precipitation) and hydrological (e.g., snow water equivalent or snow depth) conditions in the high-alpine environment of the Rofental (Tyrol, Austria), we are collecting valuable data for climate change and climate change impact detection, as well as for the further development, parameterization and validation of physically-based process models (e.g., hydrological models or energy balance snow models).

In September 2019 a new monitoring station referred to as "Station Proviantdepot" has been installed in an elevation of 2730 m a.s.l. in the upper Rofental and is reliably collecting hydroclimatological data ever since. The station is equipped with newest-generation monitoring devices and represents one of the highest elevated stations of its kind. As it is located in a protected area, a fully reinstallable setup with smallest possible disturbance of the natural environment was the top priority in the process of planning and realising the installation. The pictures below illustrate the installation from the transport of material to the fully equipped station.

Station installation (19th September, 2019)

Beside the continuous collection of data at the location of individual stations, we are carrying out tracer studies in the Rofental based on stable isotope signatures in order to quantify discharge components, learn about the origins of water, and improve the understanding of the mechanisms for streamflow generation in times of climate change.

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