Research and teaching

The purpose of the Chriesbach revitalisation is to make the brook more beneficial for people and for the environment. In addition to new or improved habitats and a green corridor as a local recreational zone, an open-air laboratory has been constructed in the Eawag area. This laboratory makes the brook more accessible for teaching purposes as well as to the general public, and is a reflection of the insights of Eawag research.

An arena with sandstone blocks as seating for around 30 people has been constructed for demonstrations and group teaching. A platform with electricity and water supply make it possible, for example, to use microscopes on tables. A variety of still-water habitats, some of them flooded at high water, allow experimental series in realistic surroundings in the field of aquatic ecology. A type of “natural laboratory” has thus been developed.

Permanent and flexible set-ups for measurements (e.g. rate of flow, temperature, chemical parameters) enable in-depth studies into the brook and its nearby groundwater. In general, Eawag and its partners are able to carry out extensive monitoring, which was why the cantonal offices were interested in supporting the project. Revitalisation elsewhere can usually only be realized if a high-water protection problem can be rectified at the same time.

A large aquarium has been built for observing the Chriesbach’s living organisms and processes, and it is continually provided with water from the brook. All the fish in the aquarium are from the Chriesbach. Located next to Eawag’s Forum Chriesbach, it is easily accessible to the public.

Measuring the results of hydrogeological testing:
Researcher Anne-Marie Kurth uses a glass fibre cable to measure subtle temperature changes in the riverbed. Changes in interactions between the brook and groundwater can thus be noted. (© Andri Bryner, Eawag)

More information in:
Eawag Aquatic Research Newsletter 02/ June 2015