One key research question addressed at the Rur hydrological observatory is: How are complex patterns of state variables and parameters of the hydrological system reflected in the heterogeneous inter- and intra-compartmental fluxes of heat energy, water, C, N, and momentum at different spatiotemporal scales? More specific hydrological research questions that are being tackled are:
- How do patterns of soil moisture impact hydrological processes such as runoff, evapotranspiration, and water storage?
- What are the key drivers for biogeochemical processes, e.g., related to nutrient transport in stream and groundwater and greenhouse gas emission?
- What are the key controls on travel time distributions?
- What is the information content of spatially and temporally highly resolved soil moisture data?
How do patterns in crop development and yield relate to soil water dynamics under drought conditions?
- How can data assimilation and cloud computing support the realtime management of water resources?
To answer these questions, a multiscale multitemporal hydrological observational platform was established and dedicated field campaigns and longterm experiments were incorporated.