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Water protection

Waters in Germany are subject to permanent condition monitoring. Physical, biological and chemical factors significantly influence the quality of flowing waters. The physical factors include flow and water exchange processes, light and temperature conditions as well as turbulences. Cooling and sewage discharges additionally affect the temperature and the quality of the water. Climate change also contributes greatly to increasing water temperature and deteriorating water quality in standing and flowing waters.


As part of a cooperation project, OSSCAD develops and tests the use of fiber-optic measurement technology for spatial and temporal high-resolution temperature measurement in standing and flowing waters for the purpose of describing the condition of water quality.

The cooperation project started on September 1st, 2018 and is funded within the framework of the funding program "Central Innovation Program for SMEs" of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The project was successfully completed on November 30, 2020.

Project summary

As part of the TeGeRam R&D project (development of a measurement technology prototype for high-precision spatial and temporal temperature determination in bodies of water using fiber-optic monitoring systems with the application of Raman spectroscopy), a prototype of a fiber-optic temperature measurement system was developed for both flowing and standing waters. As the fiber-optic cable used for measurement collects temperature values over the entire length, the system offers great additional value in terms of data density and data collection effort compared to conventional measurement methods that work with single-point measurements. The depth profiles over long distances in flowing waters or the water column in standing waters can be collected using the new technology in a time-efficient and therefore much more cost-effective manner than was previously the case. The data can be used to derive high-resolution temperature profiles and make detailed statements about the quality of a body of water.


Flowing waters

The 3D measurement data visualization shows the temperature of flowing water over time and location as a depth profile. Each recorded measurement point is displayed in color with the corresponding temperature value. The upper measuring points shown in black represent the position of the measuring boat on the water body, which were recorded using GPS. Captured discharges or temperature changes in the body of water have been highlighted here.

Standing waters

The in-situ measurement for standing waters was carried out at the Wehebachtalsperre. The beginning and development of the stratification process in the summer months and the preceding spring circulation are shown. The theory on the influence of temperature in standing waters was recorded without gaps and thus validated. Overall, the temperature profile of an entire year was measured.

The water level of the Wehebachtalsperre has changed over the measurement period. Therefore, the lowest water level was assumed to be zero meters as a reference mark. The value read above this reference mark must therefore be added to the general depth of 26 m to determine the water level. The temperature values in the graph are represented by the left-hand scale in degrees Celsius.

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OSSCAD Beteiligungen GmbH, Rheinisch Bergisches Technologie Zentrum (House 08), Friedrich-Ebert-Straße 75, 51429 Bergisch Gladbach, Germany