Since 2020, Dr. Eliza Płaczkowska has been conducting research for her SOLUTION project at the TERENO site Wüstebach. The visiting scientist from Poland is working with Prof. Michael Leuchner at RWTH Aachen University. The project, funded by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA), focuses on investigating the effects of forests and precipitation partitioning on denudation – various processes that erode Earth’s surface. In an interview, the hydrologist tells about the project’s objectives and some surprising findings she has come across.
For various reasons the radar rainfall measurement is of particular high importance: firstly, the need for comprehensive measurements in the face of recurring partly remarkable rainfall in the region and the intensive use of large hydroelectric power. Secondly, the point measurements of the often few ground precipitation collectors allow estimates of the areal precipitation with limited reliability. Especially in high altitudes ground measurements are affected by wind errors. Finally large amounts of precipitation imlicate risks such as floodings, which need to be predicted in advance. Reliable, early forecast of heavy rainfall is of crucial importance for the mitigation of flooding.
Professor Harry Vereecken, director at the Institute of Agrosphere at Forschungs-zentrum Jülich, received the Alfred Wegener Medal, one of the highest honors awarded by the European Geosciences Union (EGU). At the same time, the organisation appointed him an honorary member. With the medal, the EGU recognizes Vereecken’s groundbreaking contributions to soil-plant-atmosphere processes with a focus on hydrological and biochemical cycles.
In fall 2020, the “Cosmic Sense” research unit funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) is conducting a multi-week measurement campaign at TERENO’s Wüstebach site to measure soil moisture dynamics across the entire upper Wüstebach catchment area. Taking part in the campaign are the University of Potsdam (project lead), TU Berlin and Heidelberg University, as well as four TERENO members.