Longterm hydrological observatory Alptal (central Switzerland)

This data set includes 52 years of hydrometeorological measurements from small (first-order) catchments in the pre-alpine valley Alptal. Here we provide daily mean values; values in sub-daily resolution can be provided on demand. Runoff has been measured at the outlet of three small (first-order) catchments of approximately 1 km2 area: Erlenbach (two independent runoff measurements), Vogelbach and Lümpenenbach. The catchments are similar with regard to geology (Flysch) and soil conditions (clay soils), but differ in forest coverage (20 to 60%). A detailed description of the catchments can be found at https://www.wsl.ch/alptal . Runoff in these small catchments is typically very dynamic and can temporally carry large amounts of sediment and large wood. Thus, the accuracy of the measurements at very large flow is limited. Meteorological variables have been measured on a meadow (Erlenhöhe) located in the Erlenbach catchment at 1220 m a.s.l. using a standard meteorological station (incl. ventilated air temperature and heated rain gauges). In addition, precipitation has also been recorded at two other locations (in the Vogelbach and Lümpenenbach catchments). Snow measurements have been conducted weekly to monthly since 1968 at more than 15 locations (30-m transects) representing different altitudes, aspects and land uses (meadow, forest). In addition, snow depth has been recorded continuously since 2003 at Erlenhöhe, and for this location we also include a simulation of snow depth and SWE (using the numerical model COUP) that assimilates the manual weekly snow-course measurements. Details on these snow measurements can be found in Stähli, M. and Gustafsson, D. 2006. Hydrol. Proc., 20, 411-428. doi: 10.1002/hyp.6058.

Further information on the methods and sensors can be found at https://www.wsl.ch/alptal .

A first version of this data set (for the period 1968-2017) was uploaded in June 2018 at the occasion of the 50-year anniversary. This original data set was updated in February 2021 (with data from 2018 and 2019), and this data set was used for a longterm trend analysis, submitted for publication in a special issue of Hydrological Processes.

Funding Information:

This work was supported by:
  • Funding information not available.


Stähli, Manfred (2018). Longterm hydrological observatory Alptal (central Switzerland). EnviDat.

DataCite ISO 19139 GCMD DIF README.txt BibTex RIS

Data and Resources


Field Values
Publication State
  • Email: manfred.staehlifoo(at)wsl.ch Given Name: Manfred Family Name: Stähli Affiliation: Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL
Contact Person Given Name: Luzi Family Name: Bernhard Email: luzi.bernhardfoo(at)wsl.ch Affiliation: Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL
Publication Publisher: EnviDat Year: 2018
  • Type: Created Date: 1968-01-01 End Date: 2019-12-31
Version 2.0
Type dataset
General Type Dataset
Language English
Location Switzerland
Content License ODbL with Database Contents License (DbCL)    [Open Data]
Last Updated February 2, 2021, 14:47 (+0100)
Created March 2, 2018, 16:52 (+0100)

Custom Metadata

Custom Field Values