Catchment responses as a function of their state and structure (Lisei (GFZ))


The discharge at a stream gauge is the integral signal of the processes within the catchment. A better understanding of this response at a catchments outlet is crucial for the development of hydrological models, flood mitigation and fate of contaminants. Thereby, the amount of water stored in the catchment, the catchments state, seems to play a major role in the reaction to rainfall input. Furthermore, it is suggested that thresholds prevail, which activate preferential flow pathways. These threshold-like behaviors are catchment specific, but possible more generalizable conclusions could be inferred with comparisons among catchments that differ in their structural organization. The catchments characteristics are seen as the result of the long-term co-evolution of the climate, geology, soils, vegetation, and more recently the land use. The effect of the topography on catchment storage and discharge interconnection is still unidentified.

Ziel der Arbeit

The aim of this master’s thesis is to analyze the discharge data of 10 small catchments and to interrelate these time series of the integrated catchment response to data of soil moisture and groundwater changes within the catchments. Furthermore, the catchment structure will be taken into account via geographical information systems and field surveys, to infer relations between hydrological and topographical data. The thesis is situated in the research project CAOS (Catchments As Organized Structures) with its study site in Luxembourg, where the master student will participate in joint filed campaigns (


Combined use of rainfall, discharge, groundwater, sap flow and soil moisture data at high spatial and temporal resolution to calculate storage changes in the catchment using different approaches from catchment wide dynamics (Kirchner, 2009), groundwater and soil moisture storage to calculation of evapotranspiration over different land-use patterns


Markus Weiler und Matthias Sprenger

Besondere Hinweise

Fieldwork in Luxembourg


Markus Weiler Tel. +49 (0)761 / 203-3530


Application and programming simple hydrological process models, Data and GIS analysis, Further development of stage-discharge relationships.




Kirchner, JW (2009) Catchments as simple dynamical systems: Catchment characteristics, rainfall-runoff modelling, and doing hydrology backwards, Water Resources Research.

thesis/short_title_of_thesis6.txt · Zuletzt geändert: 2014/08/08 15:59 von mweiler