The long-term research program ExtremAqua, initiated by WasserCluster Lunz, acts as link between the specific research topics of the working groups and investigates in detail the consequences of extreme weather events and climatic changes for aquatic ecosystems and their constituent organisms. (See also EXCARB project).

These ecosystems include the study sites Lake Lunz, Oberer Seebach and the Danube floodplains east of Vienna. Long-term research is in this situation the only option to attain a comprehensive understanding of the likely changes underway in these relationships and processes. More about datasets and instrumentations of these study sites:

Lake Lunz

Oberer Seebach 

Danube floodplains


Superior aim of ExtremAqua is to provide continuous data sets with high temporal and spatial resolution and the frame for fundamental research questions. Both components are necessary to understand shifts and possible human induced fluctuations in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and their interactions.

Effecting very different parts of human life, water quantity, water quality and possible changes in the hydrological cycle are one main topic which will doubtlessly affect diverse parts of future private and public life. Therefore, ExtremAqua provides basic research and its use for scientific sound advice for governments as well as agencies regarding sustainable supply and distribution of water, prevention/risk assessment of catastrophic events caused by extreme weather events such as floods, storms, or droughts.

ExtremAqua can draw on a comprehensive measurement network and ecological data set which is provided mainly by the WasserCluster Lunz (WCL), the Hydrological Service of Lower Austria (HS-LA) and the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (CIMG). In terms of measurement technology, the “Lunzer See - Oberer Seebach” site is a highly equipped landscape ecology catchment area and represents a typical as well as very natural site within the Northern Limestone Alps.

Online measurements of carbon dioxide, oxygen and methane in the stream water (Oberer Seebach), in the lake water (Lunzer See) and in the atmosphere enable high temporal resolution analysis. Furthermore a comprehensive hydrochemical dataset is available in a high temporal resolution provided by the WCL.

At national level, the ExtremAqua research program and the WasserCluster Lunz are spatially and institutionally embedded within the “Eisenwurzen” research platform which is the flagship of Austrian long-term ecological research (LTER). This is one of the two centers for long-term socio-ecological research (LTSER) in Austria, the other being the “High Alps” in the Tyrolean Alps. Numerous institutions that are engaged with basic research, ecosystem research and monitoring and socioeconomic research currently belong to the Eisenwurzen platform.