Wir untersuchen sowohl einzelne Prozesse in aquatischen Systemen als auch ganze Systeme natürlicher Gewässer. Neben der Grundlagenforschung und der interdisziplinären Systemanalyse stehen anwendungsnahe Projekte besonders im Fokus.
Assessing subaquatic mass movement hazards: an integrated observational and hydrodynamic modelling approach
High-resolution lake and reservoir bathymetric surveys can pinpoint locations that may experience underwater landslides (subaquatic sedimentary mass movements). These can pose a risk to underwater and shoreline infrastructure. This paper outlines an approach for using spatial variation in sedimentary patterns to identify areas susceptible to subaquatic mass movements in lakes and reservoirs. This study focusses on Lake Biel (Switzerland), which has experienced a protracted history of upstream alteration of river flow. Altered flow patterns increase risk of unstable sedimentary features and subaquatic mass movements. Data from sediment traps and cores, Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers and results from a 3D hydrodynamic model gave a consistent picture of spatial and temporal variation in weather-related sedimentation. Erosion caused by short-term rain events contributes the largest proportion of sediments to the lake. Strong rain events combine with typical wind patterns to drive lake circulation. The net effect results in preferential sedimentation onto a steeply sloping shelf prone to subaquatic slides. The integrated approach outlined here incorporates short- and long-term sediment dynamics to provide a systematic assessment of lake sedimentation and potential mass movement hazards. This research represents a first step in developing a risk-evaluation tool for aquatic hazard evaluation.
Råman Vinnå, L.; Bouffard, D.; Wüest, A.; Girardclos, S.; Dubois, N. (2020) Assessing subaquatic mass movement hazards: an integrated observational and hydrodynamic modelling approach, Water Resources Management, 34, 4133-4146, doi:10.1007/s11269-020-02660-y, Institutional Repository
Environmental and microbial interactions shape methane-oxidizing bacterial communities in a stratified lake
In stratified lakes, methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB) are strongly mitigating methane fluxes to the atmosphere by consuming methane entering the water column from the sediments. MOB communities in lakes are diverse and vertically structured, but their spatio-temporal dynamics along the water column as well as physico-chemical parameters and interactions with other bacterial species that drive the community assembly have so far not been explored in depth. Here, we present a detailed investigation of the MOB and bacterial community composition and a large set of physico-chemical parameters in a shallow, seasonally stratified, and sub-alpine lake. Four highly resolved vertical profiles were sampled in three different years and during various stages of development of the stratified water column. Non-randomly assembled MOB communities were detected in all compartments. We could identify methane and oxygen gradients and physico-chemical parameters like pH, light, available copper and iron, and total dissolved nitrogen as important drivers of the MOB community structure. In addition, MOB were well-integrated into a bacterial-environmental network. Partial redundancy analysis of the relevance network of physico-chemical variables and bacteria explained up to 84% of the MOB abundances. Spatio-temporal MOB community changes were 51% congruent with shifts in the total bacterial community and 22% of variance in MOB abundances could be explained exclusively by the bacterial community composition. Our results show that microbial interactions may play an important role in structuring the MOB community along the depth gradient of stratified lakes.
Guggenheim, C.; Freimann, R.; Mayr, M. J.; Beck, K.; Wehrli, B.; Bürgmann, H. (2020) Environmental and microbial interactions shape methane-oxidizing bacterial communities in a stratified lake, Frontiers in Microbiology, 11, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2020.579427, Institutional Repository