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Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI)
Federal Research Centre
for Cultivated Plants

Acting Head
Dr. Andrea Krähmer

Königin-Luise-Straße 19
14195 Berlin, Germany

Ms Catharina Blank / Ms Vera Frimel
Tel: +49(0)30 8304-25 01/-2511
Fax: +49(0)30 8304-2503
oepv@  julius-kuehn.  de


Institute booklet

Hydrological connectivity of landscape components

Frau mit Hund steht neben einem ausgetrockneten Gewässer, das durch den Zustrom von Grundwasser wieder vernässt wird
Water body in northern Germany wetting - again due to groundwater inflow.

The physico-chemical quality of surface waters is closely related to the input of external substance loads (e.g. from surface runoff or atmospheric deposition). For a long time, nutrient and pollutant loads that enter rivers and lakes with inflowing groundwater were not or insufficiently taken into account when drawing up water and substance balances of water bodies. Yet groundwater is often an important component in the water and substance balances of surface waters.

In Central Europe, groundwater often provides a large-scale hydrological connection between different compartments of a landscape. Via this connection, human influences can have a negative effect from their origin over many kilometres at other locations in the landscape. Due to the very slow flow velocities in the aquifer, the effects of human activities often occur at other locations with a long delay (sometimes years or decades). This can lead to a deterioration in water quality due to the input of nutrients and pollutants from the groundwater, the origin of which is to be sought in a completely different place. The research in the area of "Hydrological connectivity of landscape components" identifies of pesticides that enter small bodies of water with groundwater close to the surface. Based on this, the corresponding substance loads are quantified in order to assess the significance of groundwater for the pollution of these water bodies with pollutants.

Karin Meinikmann