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International Workshop on temporal high resolution water quality monitoring and analysis

30. june - 1. July 2016, Sandbjerg, Denmark


Looking into the near future one realizes that even more dramatic changes are likely to occur since climate, water cycle and land use are continuously undergoing significant shifts and changes. With the current acceleration of human impacts, it is becoming increasingly clear that improved accounting for changes, interactions and feedbacks is necessary to reach a better interpretation of human impacts on river water quality.

In recent years water quality monitoring has undergone significant changes towards new sensor technologies offering high temporal resolution measurement devices and reducing the current uncertainty of observations. These new technologies will bring new insights but we are still challenged in terms of how to integrate different types of information. Currently a number of initiatives are ongoing in Europe and abroad where these new technologies are implemented. These new information types, especially the high temporal resolution, offer new opportunities to improve ongoing catchment, regional or national monitoring programmes and understanding of loads, sources, retention processes, etc.

The objective of the workshop was therefore to discuss how these new technologies and data can be used to strengthen the understanding of catchment science processes across both spatial and temporal scales. This comprised analyzing event based, seasonal and long term hydrological and biogeochemical response of catchments caused by natural and anthropogenic impacts. Several questions were addressed like: How to turn new types of raw data into useful information and ultimately new knowledge? How can data driven modelling increase the gain of information from new data types? How can we initiate proactive research on opportunities conveyed by advanced monitoring methods? How can we improve the efficiency (information content) of monitoring schemes using new technology and how can we advance our monitoring and data analysis capabilities to predict and manage hydrological and water quality change?

To achieve these objectives we brought together a critical mass of invited scientists with expertise in monitoring and mechanistic as well as data driven modelling to initiate new research collaboration in the field of water quality monitoring and research at the catchment scale.



The workshop was held in form of a two-day, single session conference.

The workshop consisted of invited as well as contributed presentations, poster presentations and discussion. In order to allow for contributions from all participants, to facilitate discussion, and to enable efficient interaction between the participants, the number of participants didn't exceed 35.

Scientific programme

Photo: Jane Rosenstand Poulsen

The workshop themes covered the major fields of new high temporal resolution water quality monitoring technologies. The preliminary themes structuring the workshop are listed below but were refined as planning for the workshop progressed:

  • New high resolution water quality sensor technologies and their application in catchment analysis, regional and national monitoring schemes for load estimation, source tracking, trend analysis, etc.
  • How can new high resolution water quality sensor data be used for calibration and validation of water quality models?
  • The use of high resolution data to detect diurnal variability in aquatic systems
  • Practical use of sensor equipment – installation, data quality and precision, need for calibration and validation, etc.

Keynote Speakers

PD Dr. Michael Rode
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Researc-UFZ

Prof. Andrew Wade
University of Reading

Prof. Phil Jordan
University of Ulster


Photo: Jane Rosenstand Poulsen

The workshop took place near to the town of Sønderborg in Southern Jutland, Denmark on the Manor Sandbjerg which is owned by Aarhus University. For more information about the historical place Sandbjerg Gods please visit www.sandbjerg.dk/en/.

For visitors arriving by plane, Sønderborg can be reached by flying to Copenhagen and change to a domestic flight to Sønderborg, see Sønderborg Airport and alsieexpress.dk.

Sønderborg can also be reached by train and bus from both Aarhus Airport and Billund Airport.