National Projects
Project duration: 
Sep 2022 to Aug 2024

On average, climate change (CC) is affecting high mountain ecosystems more severely than in the rest of the world, causing recurrent hydrological disturbances. However, due to their inaccessibility, current models of the carbon cycle (C) rarely incorporate the role of hydrology and biogeoqumics (or their interaction) in high mountain basins. This limitation makes it difficult to gain a thorough understanding of how these basins work and therefore our ability to anticipate how a more intermittent future will change their roles in the wider C cycle. CARBINTER's general objective is to understand how hydrological intermittence affects the transport and reactivity of C through the landscape continuum (from the soils to the rivers downstream) to the high mountain basins.


In high-mountain areas, perturbations to the water balance are compromising "the homogeneity" of  stream flows through a combination of distinct elements (higher frequency and intensity of precipitation events, increased occurrence of periods of low- or zero- flow, and higher probability of short-lived snow melting episodes). While hydrological intermittency receive much attention in arid, semi-arid or even temperarate environments, the current view of how hydrology controls the transport of C along land to ocean continuum (LOAC) rarely includes high mountain watersheds. This limitation hinders a deep understanding of how they function and thus our ability to anticipate how a more intermittent future will modify their roles in the broader C cycle.


The general objective of CARBINTER is to understand how hydrological intermittency affects the transport-reactivity of C across the landscape continuum (from soils to downstream waters) in high-mountain watersheds.


The methodological approach we propose for CARBINTER relies mainly on the use of wireless sensor platforms able measure and record parameters of relevance at a high frequency. To achieve this we will we will provide with additional instrumentation to our ongoing network of sensor platforms at the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park established with the C-InterMont project. This includes the installation of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) sensor, dissolved methane (CH4) sensors and a Wireless (WIFI or LoRaWAN) communication system to facilitate the sensor programming and provide real-time data. This project also includes an experimental part in which constant rate DOC additions will be carried out to quantify (in situ and under controlled conditions) the relationship between consumption and transport of this element. The amount (and composition) of DOC added to streams will be manipulated to simulate contrasted hydrologival scenarios in which this resource is transferred to high-mountain headwater stream.


One of the outcomes of the project will be the development of “Web Portal” with different tools to be use internally (e.g., data management and visualization) but also a part devoted to external uses and outreach actions. This second part will contain an interactive "Web App". where users will visualize (and/or download) real-time hydro-chemical properties measured with our sensor platforms at the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park.

Project PID2021-128183NA-I00 funded by MCIN/ AEI /10.13039/501100011033 and by FEDER A way of making Europe

  • paisatge de bosc nevat