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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-04-01 - 2023-11-15

Digital data and tools are increasingly part of agricultural practice and water management in Austria. Decision support systems can be used to control irrigation digitally and adapted to agrometeorological conditions. Apps and web-based services (e.g.,, have been developed to facilitate irrigation planning using publicly available satellite, weather, soil, and land use data (e.g.,, Online probes (e.g., allow real-time display of groundwater levels or surface water discharges. Water withdrawals for irrigation purposes are recorded with different information density via water information systems (e.g. online water books of the federal states). Some digital tools are already in use, various research projects deal with partial aspects of this topic, data bases are available in different forms at a number of institutions. However, there is a lack of an overview of the current state of research, the available data bases and digital tools, as well as the developments and challenges in this topic area, which would enable targeted further developments and synergetic uses of existing data. Therefore, the current state of research, available data bases and digital tools, as well as current developments and challenges are to be compiled and presented in the form of web-compatible factsheets with the intensive involvement of the relevant stakeholders (agriculture, water management, research). For this purpose, in a first step, the relevant topic areas will be defined in communication with the stakeholders, the research sources will be determined, the criteria for the consideration and evaluation of information will be established, and a standardized form of presentation will be designed. The existing data bases and tools are evaluated for their concrete feasibility, synergy potential, and availability/accessibility for different stakeholders. Complementary to this, identified gaps are presented.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-11-01 - 2025-12-31

The objectives of this project are 1) to determine the main erosion driving rainfall characteristics and their seasonal varia-bility, 2) to determine occurrence probability of extreme erosion events; and 3) to link precipitation, modeled erosion and damage reports with each other to allow better warnings. Field measurements of rainfall kinetic energy will be combined with soil erosion modelling for agriculturally used areas in Austria to derive range and frequency of erosion inducing rain-fall events and related soil losses. Obtained results will be validated by using damage reports of fire brigade interventions.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-10-01 - 2025-09-30

Wider research context: The rainfall-runoff process is of high interest in catchment hydrology as it directly impacts the quantity and quality of available freshwater. It is influenced by a complex interplay of hydrometeorological variables and catchment properties that complicates the isolation of the effect of individual variables. This calls for new conceptual frameworks that advance our understanding of hydrological processes at the catchment scale. Objectives: The main aim is to better characterize the influence of hydrometeorological variables on runoff generation and catchment-wide water transport by utilizing naturally reoccurring patterns in hydrological flux and state variables as repeated experiments. Approach: First we will define hydrologically similar rainfall and catchment wetness (soil water content and groundwater) patterns by a data-driven and a modeling approach. Rainfall and catchment wetness will be defined as hydrologically similar if their respective runoff reactions are similar as measured by objective functions. Second, water transit time measures (transit time distribution (TTD), fraction of young water (Fyw)) will be defined as similar if a) for TTD their respective simulated isotope tracer in runoff or b) for Fyw the sine waves fitted to the isotope tracer in runoff are similar. Once identified, the hydrologically similar patterns will be searched in real-world data of three study catchments (forest, grassland, agriculture) and the respective runoff reactions will be analyzed. A similarity in the runoff reaction indicates repeatability of rainfall-runoff processes under similar conditions (repeatable experiment) while different runoff responses for similar patterns will be explained by hydrometeorological variables to characterize their influence on the rainfall-runoff process. Additional hydrological modeling will give further insights into catchment-internal reasons for similar or different runoff reactions and enables generalization of results for other catchments Innovation: Repeated catchment experiments in the field are currently impossible due to financial, administrative, and technological constraints. This study circumvents the problem by utilizing naturally reoccurring patterns in hydrologic time series and uses them as repeated experiments to advance our understanding of the rainfall-runoff process. The main outcome of this project will be an advanced understanding of the influence of hydrometeorological variables on the runoff process which can be further used to investigate the rainfall-runoff processes of other catchments. The proposed method can be transferred to other catchments in different climatic regions, has the potential to estimate transit times without long tracer time series and can be used to design measurement networks. Primary researchers involved: Dr. Michael Stockinger, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christine Stumpp

Supervised Theses and Dissertations