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Measuring and surveying

Physical geography measuring stations for climatology, hydrology, geomorphology, soil studies and vegetation geography on the Frankenforst grounds have been in use since 1999. The hydrological and climatological measuring devices (flow levels, groundwater, climatic data) record the various parameters on an ongoing basis and at very short intervals. At other measuring stations (erosion, soil profiles, vegetation plots) measurements or recordings are only made when required. The data are used in field trips and for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral theses.

The recorded data can be downloaded under the menu item data download.

Overview of measurements sites


Weather station

Two Campbell weather stations are installed at locations with varying climatic conditions: on a meadow in a clearing in a beech wood. The following parameters are measured at both stations: air humidity, air temperature, wind direction and wind speed (at 30cm, 2m, 4m and 8m above the ground), precipitation, air pressure (only at the meadow station), ground warmth flows, ground temperature, radiation balance, global and reflective radiation. The data are recorded via a data logger at 10 minute intervals and transmitted to a computer by means of a radio connection. Aditionally, 4 data loggers are installed at different sites.

  • Campell weather station meadow:
    Frequency: every 10 mins, all year round
  • Campell weather station woodland:
    Frequency: every 10 mins, all year round (until 2013)

  • 4 mobile loggers in max-min-temperature shelters (woodland, small grain field (Auf dem Scheid), meadow):
    Frequency: every 10 mins


The Frankenforst site is drained by two streams, Eichenbach and Forstbach. Both streams flow together at the north-eastern perimeter of the site. A weir was built downstream from the point of confluence and a multi-parameter sensor is installed here (Orpheus, by Ott). Here, water levels are measured to gauge flow quantities. Electric conductivity and temperature are also measured at 10-minute intervals. The data is available here. A water level is also installed to measure water levels in the Forstbach.

  • 1 Thompson weir with multiparameter sensor (water level, electric conductivity, temperature), Eichenbach stream (water level, 2008-2009):
    Frequency: every 10 mins, all year round
  • weekly water samples to analyse water quality, Eichenbach and Forstbach streams:
    Frequency: weekly (2009-2010)

Geomorphology and Soils

Numerous soil profiles are located on the study site for teaching purposes. A small catena runs from the north-east of the manor house to the Forstbach stream (Parabraunerde, Pararendzina, Colluvium).  A gley profile can be found close to the measuring weir in the Eichenbach stream. A catena with five profiles was dug in the dry valley for teaching purposes.

There is also a hydraulic testing channel on the site used for teaching and research by Prof. Herget's work group.

  • two hydraulic test channels, hen-house
  • 3 open soil profiles, meadow

  • transect with 5 open soil profiles, dry valley


  • 4 marked vegetation plots with recorded species, dry valley


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