|Retention basin at the Erlenbach|
Since 1967 the subalpine Alptal-valley (canton Schwyz) has been a hydrological test site of the WSL. Initially the objective was to advance the understanding of flood generation in small flashy catchments. The importance of forest cover was in the focus of these studies.
Later on ecological research attracted more attention. For decades the mass balances of torrent streams and carbon/nitrogen inputs and cycling in forest ecosystems have been studied. Special research emphasis has always been put on the highly variable snow cover in this landscape. Recently the WSL facilities at the Alptal-valley have become an international "hotspot" for bedload transport studies in mountain torrents.
The substantially new results from the test site have been published in international and national journals. Data are shared with the scientific community on request.