Hidegvíz Valley Project

Research activities

We measure effects of the forest in the water concentration especially interception, evapotranspiration, runoff generation, erosion; phenological phase of vegetation and nutrient cycle.
At the catchments outlet there are three (the main and two sub-basin) automatic gauging station. In an open air place and different forest sites meteorological station we measure the climate parameters. There are four intensive research-gardens under main stand-forming tree species. In these gardens we measure water content of soils (with suction cups), interception, and nutrient cycles (C-N sequestration). At the main stream there are groundwater wells. We measure regularly the main parameters of forest stands.
In this region there are three ICP Forest Level II monitoring plots managed by ERTI (Forest Research Institute).

Environmental characteristic

The Hidegvíz-valley Project located at the western border of Hungary at the edge of Alps in Sopron Hill. (Lat: 47-35-08 - 47-39-06, Lon: 16-25-31 - 16-28-15 above WGS 84 datum) It is a 6 km2 large forested catchment with several sub-catchments. The highest point is Magas-bérc (555.8 m above Balti see level), the lowest is the basin outlet (370 m). We have two intensively measured sub-catchments of the Hidegvíz Valley. Both are at the south-western part of the valley namely Farkas Valley and Vadkan Valley, where situated the above mentioned research gardens.
The geology of catchments is crystalline bedrock settled tertiary (Miocene) fluvial sediment, which is strongly unclassified. Fluvial sediment has settled in five layers. On the surface only two upper layers appears. On the hilltop and hill slope can be found a 10 m thick layer, which contains coarser gravels and finest loam, therefore strongly unclassified. On the valley bottom everywhere finer material appears. Valley bottom is a little seized; therefore groundwater comes to the surface as seepage springs. The whole catchments are entisols and alfisols.
Attachment and surroundings have totally covered by deciduous and conifer forests (approx. 50-50 %). The main conifer species is the spruce (Picea abies) and the main deciduous species are beech (Fagus sylvatica) and oak (Quercus petrea). On the bottom of the valleys another species, alder (Alnus glutinosa) compose hygrofil intrazonal association.
The whole research area part of the Fertő-Hanság National Park, but only the western part of the watershed have strong restrictions in the forest management issues. The forest operated and managed by TÁEG Rt. (Forest Share Holding Company).

Historical overview

The project was founded in the first quarter of 1980 decade. After some organisation work was built a meteorological station with electro mechanical data recorders at the catchmet outlet in 1986. The first seven year had came lots of difficulties (financial problems, data logger errors).
We begin first discharge measuring in 1992 from February to May only in Farkas Valley stream. Discharge was measured by volumetric method. This measure period continued in 1993 and 1994 in case of both catchments. In these years we had done expedition measuring, when we tried to measure flood hydrograph wave shape under condition of rainy days. On the basis of these results it can be seen that only continuous and frequent measuring able to give enough data for analysis of these phenomenons. In 1995 gauging stations had been settled at catchments outlet with house made water-level registration system. These instruments had a lot of mechanical error, and our time series had a lot of missing period. Second half of 2000 we installed digital water-level sensors which produced better continuous time series. Last years the originally forest hydrological research grow broader with several disciplines of forestry and connected sciences.