New project: River Living Lab – Looking at anthropogenic markers in water and sediment


A living lab along rivers in the Aachen region focusing on the human impact on the sediment dynamics and pollution of a mesoscale riverine system will be implemented in a multi-disciplinary project. Long-term trends in water chemistry, pollution of floodplain sediments, and general sediment dynamics will be researched to address these issues in light of emerging challenges like global change.


Starting in 2023, the PGG will take the lead in establishing a Fluvial Living Lab. An application for start-up funding under the ERS Seed Fund Call 2022-"Collaborating in Living Labs" has been approved. The joint initiative of Frank Lehmkuhl (PGG), Simone Lechthaler (ISA) and Jan Schwarzbauer (LEK) will address the interaction of anthropogenic demands leading to modifications on mesoscale water bodies and fluvial systems in constant change.

To this end, Living Labs are to be set up at wastewater treatment plants in the north of Aachen along the river Wurm, with the aim of long-term monitoring, including in particular the evaluation of extreme events. Here, the interdisciplinary cooperation between geosciences, organic chemistry and urban water management is to provide new impulses, which are also to be discussed with external stakeholders.

This infrastructure will also to be incorporated into teaching for field trips and Bachelor’s or Master’s theses.