Preliminary biogeochemical investigations of small rivers in the Franconian Alb to lay foundations for detailed investigations of turnover and origin of high carbon in the Main River system

Third party funded individual grant


Project Details

Project leader:
Prof. Johannes Barth


Contributing FAU Organisations:
Lehrstuhl für Angewandte Geologie

Funding source: DFG-Einzelförderung / Sachbeihilfe (EIN-SBH)
Start date: 01/02/2012


Abstract (technical / expert description):


Investigations of the carbon cycle in river systems are important to outline interactions between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere. They also allow quantification of carbon fluxes to larger river systems and ultimately the ocean. This helps to constrain terrestrial carbon cycles that in turn have strong influences on the atmospheric CO2 through providing sources and sinks. Flux rates of carbon by rivers can also help to provide boundary parameters for climate models. In this context, rivers act as important integral information sources because they are key links between terrestrial systems and oceans. On the other hand, most rivers actively release considerable amounts of carbon to the atmosphere in the form of CO2. Nonetheless, its sources from soils, groundwater or river internal turnover are poorly defined. These aspects are planned to be investigated in small river systems of less than 12 m3 s-1 discharge in the Franconian Alb. Such small stream investigations holds promise to better quantify processes and mechanisms including geological, agricultural and urban influences on riverine carbon cycles. This work opens the opportunity to start biogeochemical investigations on the Main River System that is one of the major tributairies of the Rhine, one of the major waterways in Europe. It is placed in international context by allowing comparison to work on other river systems in various countries.



Last updated on 2018-22-11 at 19:21