OZCAR-RI Aurade Experimental Catchment - France

Basic Information

Site Name: 

OZCAR-RI Aurade Experimental Catchment

Short name : 

Aurade agricultural catchment

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General Site Description: 

Small agricultural catchment (320 ha) with 30 years of data: impact of climate change and agricultural practices on soil erosion, weathering rate and river fluxes. Main cultures: wheat and sunflower in rotation Soils: calco soils Bedrock: Miocene molassic deposits (calcareous, clayey and sandy) Continuous measurements with sensor: river discharge, Temperature, pH, conductivity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, nitrate Weekly samples and high resolution sampling during storm runoff: major cations and anions, alkalinity, pH, dissolved silica, conductivity, total suspended solids, stable isotopes (13C of DIC, 2H and 18O of H2O, 15N of nitrates), heavy metals, some pesticide molecules Climatological station, rain collector for precipitation chemistry, soil solution station with lysimetric plate at different depths. Carbon and water tower flux measurements (Eddy covariance see CESBIO laboratory contribution) Collaboration with the Aurade farmer association for fertilizer and pesticide inputs, cultivation, agricultural practices... Aurade experimental catchment (http://www.ecolab.omp.eu/bvea/) is an international field site of the Critical Zone Exploration Network CZEN (http://www.czen.org/content/aurade-experimental-catchment), a field site of the French Research Infrastructure OZCAR and it is also a site of the French LTSER ZA PYGAR "Zone Atelier Pyrénées-Garonne". and a regional Platform of Research and Innovation-Midi Pyrénées.

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General Characteristics, Purpose, History

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Purpose of Site : 

To determine the impact of climate change and agricultural practices on soil erosion, weathering rate, biogeochemical cycles of elements and river fluxes. It is also to study the dynamic of agricultural pollutants (nitrogen, pesticides, heavy metals) and their impact the quality of soils, surface and ground waters, and aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, particularly on the relationships between biodiversity and functions and on the ecosystem services.

History of Site: 

This site has been set up in 1982 by the company AZF-Grande-Paroisse to follow nitrate and phosphate concentrations in the sream in order to reduce the losses of N and P from mineral ferilizer application. The survey was developped with the local farmer association (GAGT) in order to improve the agricultural practices and to reduce nitrate pollution. From 2000, Ecolab laboratory manage the site and is in charge of the whole hydrochemical survey, within the framework of an agreement with GAGT. From 2010, the site is a regional platform for research and innovation, and it is pat of the French catchment network (RBV). It belongs to the French research infrastructure OZCAR and to the European infastructure (ESFRI-LTER).

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  • General view of the upper Aurade catchment with cultivated slopes and grass bands along the stream


Latitude: 43.559000000000
Longitude: 1.064340000000