OZCAR-RI OHGE Strengbach Watershed OHGE Observatoire Hydro-Géochimique de l'Environnement - France

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OZCAR-RI OHGE Strengbach Watershed OHGE Observatoire Hydro-Géochimique de l'Environnement

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General Site Description: 

The Strengbach Watershed is a granitic watershed (80ha) located in NE of France, in the Vosges Mountains at altitudes between 880 and 1150 m (omsl) and with highly incised side slopes (mean 15°). This catchment is situated in a remote area lacking human activities except forest management. The forest covers 90% of the area and corresponds about to 80% spruce (mainly Piceas Abies L.) and 20% beech (Fagus Sylvatica). The climate is temperate oceanic mountainous. The site is manage by Ecole et Observatoire des Sciences de la Terres (University of Strasbourg / CNRS-INSU-France).

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General Characteristics, Purpose, History

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Purpose of Site : 

Understanding how the natural environment reacts to anthropological or natural disturbances corresponds at both societal and scientific stakes, in particular for predicting future changes of our environment. The purpose of research on Strengbach Watershed are to better understand the complex physical, chemical and biological processes in the Critical Zone (CZ) which control the transfer and storage of water, elements, or energy. By combination of geochemical, geophysical, hydrological, mineralogical, physical, ecological studies we aim to built and test global numerical models able to modeled water and elemental cycles at the watershed scale. This step is essential to be able to predict future evolutions of ecosystem to disturbance as intensive agricultures, forest management or climate and rain changes.

History of Site: 

Since 1986, climatic, hydrological and geochemical parameters of the Strengbach Catchment have been recorded, rendering the watershed one of oldest sites of granitic basement monitoring in the world. This watershed is called the ‘Observatoire Hydro-Geochimique de l’Environnement (OHGE - http://ohge.u-strasbg.fr)’ and is approved and funded by the French INSU/CNRS as a national environmental observatory. It is a natural laboratory used to study and understand hydrological and biogeochemical cycles and weathering processes and is well suited for testing new geochemical tracers and numerical models. The first studies were conducted to understand the impacts of acid rain on forested ecosystems.

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  • Spruce stand station (copyright : MC Pierret)
  • Strengbach strealm at the outlet (copyright : MC Pierret)


Latitude: 48.380000000000
Longitude: 7.330000000000

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