Droughts are significant hydrological and environmental hazards that threaten the ecological status and functioning of Austrian water bodies. Low flow and increased water temperatures affect physical and biogeochemical processes at the water-sediment interface, leading to increased organic matter mineralization, nutrient turnover, and microbial respiration, amongst others.
Under these scenarios, nutrient release from river sediments may become the dominant factor for the water quality of lotic ecosystems. Ignoring this internal nutrient and pollutant source may lead to inaccuracies and underestimations of climate change effects on the water quality of river systems in river pollution models.
The project will help to create a mechanistic and generalized understanding of the nutrient remobilisation potential of river sediments in relation to water temperature, hydrochemistry, hydrological conditions, and sediment characteristics