The role of streams and rivers for the global carbon cycle is now increasingly understood. However, the streams that drain the roof of our planet are rarely included in considerations of global biogeochemistry. This is surprising given the wide distribution of high-mountain ranges. At the same time, it is also understandable given the numerous logistical challenges associated with the study of remote high-mountain streams.
To fill this gap of knowledge, the River Ecosystems Laboratory RIVER operates an environmental sensor network to study the hydrology and biogeochemistry of streams in four high-mountain catchments in Switzerland. We use high-resolution data over multiple years to establish regimes of streamwater flow, temperature, fine sediment load, carbon fluxes, including CO2 exchange with the atmosphere, and ecosystem metabolism. This unique observatory aims at better understanding the effects of climate change, including glacier shrinkage, on critical stream ecosystem functions and integrity.
Through this data portal visitors can explore, using specific interactive plots, the more than 20'000'000 grab sample and sensor data recorded over 5 years in our monitoring network located in the Swiss Alps. Data can also be requested by selecting the chosen parameters, dates and study sites in the Download tab.
For more information about the METALP network, please visit the official METALP website.