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Johnsbach Valley (Regular)

Operator: University of Graz
DEIMS Database: Johnsbachtal
Contact: Oliver Sass

Site description

The Johnsbach river basin is a comparatively small, high Alpine river headwatershed situated in the Ennstal Alps (Styria) and covering an area of approximately 65 km². The Johnsbach valley is an area of high diversity in a variety of aspects, geological framework, relief energy, morphological and hydrological dynamics, or gradients in meteorological variables. Similarly, the economic interests are also varying: forest management, Alpine pasture farming, water resource economics, and tourism (mountaineering, recreation, in winter skiing and dog sledding). The northern part belongs to the Gesaeuse National Park. The landscape is dominated by high Alpine rock formations, forests and meadows with highest elevations found at the summit of Hochtor (2369 m). The main concerns of current activities are hydroclimatological measurements, geomorphology and sediment budgets, long-term monitoring, education and training, sustainable tourism and management. A network of hydroclimatological stations has been installed at nine locations ranging from 600 to 2,191 m and instrumented with temperature, precipitation, wind speed and direction, humidity, radation and snow water equivalent sensors. The meteorological stations are supplemented by three river discharge gauges; a runoff and bedload measurement station is currently (Feb. 2014) under construction at the catchment outlet.


  • Strasser U., Marke T., Sass O., Birk S., Winkler G. (2013): John’s creek valley: a mountainous catchment for long-term interdisciplinary human-environment system research in Upper Styria (Austria) Environmental Earth Sciences, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 695-705