Basic monitoring network: water levels and discharge in surface waters

The FOEN Hydrology Division’s basic monitoring network now comprises some 260 gauging stations on surface waters. In addition to lake water levels, river discharge is measured at 200 sites. 90% of all stations have automatic remote retrieval facilities.

Station Massa-Blatten

Systematic recording of the fundamental parameters of water levels and discharge dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. The long-standing measurement series provide a basis for a wide variety of applications, such as flood protection or investigation of the effects of climate change.

As the data is now rapidly accessible through remote retrieval (via logger and modem), it can be of great importance to decision makers under extreme conditions. In order to guarantee availability, state-of-the-art sensor technology is used and flood-proof building techniques are maintained. Contactless radar devices are used instead of more vulnerable floats or pneumatic measuring instruments, and the stations are set up at a safe distance from the channel.

Discharge measurement

The discharge monitoring stations are calibrated through 5-6 discharge measurements each year. To ensure trouble-free operation, each station is checked by a local observer on a weekly basis.

More information on discharge measuring methods

The hydrology in Switzerland

Beschreibung der Messmethoden ab S. 47

Further information

Last modification 22.08.2018

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