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Surface Water Discharge

The ECN protocol for surface water discharge (FWD)


Protocol file


Site types that use this protocol

The impact of environmental change is likely to bring about a response in hydrological conditions at a site.  The water balance at any location is controlled by climate, vegetation cover and soil properties.  Any change in the external climate or in the internal structure of the soil-vegetation system of a catchment will be reflected in changes in site hydrology.  This may involve changes in evaporation, in soil moisture levels, and in the amount of run-off from the site.  Surface water discharge is an important component of catchment hydrology and at relatively pristine sites may provide a sensitive indicator of environmental change.  At other sites, extraction of water from and discharges to rivers will affect flow but at all sites flow is an essential measurement in the calculation of changes in loads of nutrient elements and pollutants from catchments.

Continuous stage and discharge is measured at river sites.

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Our field activities


At terrestrial sites evening bat monitoring continues and we also sample for spittle bugs using sweep nets. In rivers and lakes we sample aquatic macrophytes (water plants visible to the naked eye). The usual year-round measurements are also made.

See all this month's field measurements...

A spittlebug