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'The Hydrological Open Air Laboratory (HOAL) in Petzenkirchen, Lower Austria, is a 66 ha research catchment that has been established to advance the understanding of water related flow and transport processes in the landscape, involving sediments, nutrients and microbes.


The catchment's subsoil consits of tertiary sediments of the molasse zone and fractured siltstone. The predominant soil types are Cambisols, Planosols, Anthrosols, Gleysols and Histosols. The catchment is mainly agricultural used.


A range of different runoff generation processes (surface runoff, springs, tile drains, wetlands) occur in the HOAL and it is convenient from a logistic point of view as all instruments can be connected to the power grid and a high speed glassfibre Local Area Network.


The research catchment is operated jointly by the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien, Austria) and the Austrian Federal Agency for Water Management of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW).

For more detailed information see also project homepage ( or the HOAL hypothesis paper.'



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