Department Surface Waters - Research and Management

Surface Waters -
Research & Management (Surf)

We focus both on processes in the aquatic environment as well as on entire systems of natural waters.

We perform basic and applied research and several projects have a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary focus, including system analysis. Read more


Surface temperatures in Lake Geneva on 1.7.2017: while in Geneva and on the southwest shore near Nyon, temperatures below 10 degrees were recorded, in Évian swimmers were enjoying 22 to 23-degree waters. (Source:

July 13, 2017
If the wind blows away the warm surface waters of a lake, cold water flows in from the depths. As a result of this effect the temperature in Lake Geneva recently sank to 8 degrees. A project led by Eawag and EPFL had predicted this cooling event. Read more

Latest Publications

Bierlein, K. A.; Rezvani, M.; Socolofsky, S. A.; Bryant, L. D.; Wüest, A.; Little, J. C. (2017) Increased sediment oxygen flux in lakes and reservoirs: the impact of hypolimnetic oxygenation, Water Resources Research, 53(6), 4876-4890, doi:10.1002/2016WR019850, Institutional Repository
Fumasoli, A.; Bürgmann, H.; Weissbrodt, D. G.; Wells, G. F.; Beck, K.; Mohn, J.; Morgenroth, E.; Udert, K. M. (2017) Growth of Nitrosococcus-related ammonia oxidizing bacteria coincides with extremely low pH values in wastewater with high ammonia content, Environmental Science and Technology, 51(12), 6857-6866, doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b00392, Institutional Repository
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Graduate Studies in our department

Video about Graduate Studies in the department Surface waters - Research and Management

Video about Graduate Studies in our department

Research Projects

The intricacies of Lake Kivu and of the methane stored in its deep waters could easily keep an entire research institute busy. Our research aims at creating the knowledge needed to support a sustainable and safe exploitation of the methane resource.
Wastewater is a source of antibiotic resistant bacteria. We study their dissemination in the aquatic environment, and strategies to remove them.
Drilliing sediment cores (~600.000 years) from the highly alkaline Lake Van in Anatolia to reveal the climate history.
Lakes store large amounts of heat. To what extent can this heat be used to replace the use of fossil fuels or electricity for heating and cooling purposes?