Nives Balenovic, doctoral student from Croatia working in a cooperation project from IKT Petzenkirchen, BOKU Vienna and CTU Prague, started recently her PhD about 'Kinetic energy of rainfall as driving force of soil detachment and transport' (also known as splash erosion).
She is doing her field experiments in the HOAL catchment, where she installed so called splash cups for analysing the kinetic energy of rainfall. Due to the installations in the HOAL she can also take use of the data of the climate station and the present weather sensor, which is measuring raindrop and rainfall characteristics (size, velocity, distribution and intensity).
If heavy rainfall occurs it hits the soil in the soil cups and erodes the soil. The eroded soil is collected in the outer bucket and quantitative determined. Also the surface changes of the soil cups and the soil loss in the cups are analysed via photogrammetry.
Rasmiaditya Silasari recently published her paper in the journal 'Hydrological Processes'. The paper is about the potential of high temporal resolution time‐lapse photography for mapping the dynamics of saturation areas on the hillslope scale during natural rainfall. This link leads you to the paper.
Giorgio Nicchi and Tommaso Picciafuoco, guests students from University of Perugia, Italy are continuing with infiltrometer measurements in the HOAL. Since now most of the parts of the catchment have been harvested recently, they can cover a large percentage of the catchment with the planned measurements (see map). The measurements will happen in the next weeks and per spot 9 repetitions in a 3x3 raster are planned.
Currently the temporal soil net, which is measuring soil moisture and soil temperature down to 50cm below ground surface, is removed. The soil net was partly installed in the middle of agricultural used fields, currently wheat is growing there. Since the crop is harvested soon and soil tillage follows, the sensors have to be taken out from the fields. After the farmers field works they will be set up again for the next measuring period.
The very dry conditions in the last week are also visible at this field works. Big drought cracks are present all around and the very dry and hard soil makes it quite a tough job to dig the sensors out.
Last week several doctoral students of the doctoral programme were busy in the HOAL in repairing and maintaining equipment in the research catchment.
Casings of data and power supply cables were checked for damages, which e.g. sometimes can occur by animals and were repaired. Also weathered logger boxes and discharge measuring weirs were smoothed and repainted. It was a relatively little effort to extend the lifetime of all the installations, which are permanent exposed to the influences of weather and environment.