Artificial stream and pond system

Hall and grounds with artificial gutteringClick to enlarge
The artificial stream and pond system belongs to the Marienfelde UBA location
Source: UBA

The artificial stream and pond system (“Fließ- und Stillgewässer-Simulationsanlage” – FSA) of the German Federal Environment Agency’s field station in Berlin-Marienfelde is one of the largest and most modern mesocosm systems in the world.

Table of Contents

 

The artificial stream and pond system – Introduction

The artificial stream and pond system (“Fließ- und Stillgewässer-Simulationsanlage” – FSA ) of the German Federal Environment Agency’s field station in Berlin-Marienfelde is a new large, and technically sophisticated test plant. Its facilities comprise 16 streams of 1.6 km total length, 16 ponds, approximately 5 km of pipe network equipped with more than 60 pumps, 360 valves and appropriate technical measuring equipment.

The test plant allows the simulation of aquatic lotic (flowing), lentic (stagnant) and flow-through systems – from streams and rivers, ponds and lakes, right up to river like lakes. The FSA is one of the largest existing mesocosm systems. It provides an intermediary between easily controllable, but simplifying laboratory experiments and field studies, which are less controllable, but more realistic compared to the field situation.

One objective of mesocosm experiments is to examine the effects of substances and microorganisms, which are selectively introduced into the systems on the flora and fauna, and to gain experience concerning their dispersion and stability in different aquatic compartments. The substances can either be introduced into surface waters by treated municipal wastewater (e.g. pharmaceuticals, substances containing hormones, detergents and cleansing agents, industrial chemicals, bacteria, viruses etc.), by runoff from rural areas (e.g. pesticides), or as the result of industrial accidents or atmospheric deposition (e.g. industrial chemicals).

Experiments run in the FSA shall help to answer questions which improve the expertise of the Federal Environment Agency in regulation procedures for substances and mixtures (formulations). It also provides the Federal Environmental Ministry with scientific assistance in developing and consolidating environmental protection regulations.

 

Special features of the FSA

The FSA is one of the largest and most modern mesocosm systems in the world. Its special features in comparison to other facilities of its kind are: (for details please refer to “Technology”)

  • its modular design, providing maximum flexibility (multiple interconnections, variable water body sizes and configurations, circulating/flow-through systems)
  • simulation of both flowing and stagnant water systems (streams and ponds can be run in parallel)
  • variable flow velocity allowing simulation of a wide range of aquatic systems (simulation of water bodies ranging from river like lakes right through to lowland rivers)
  • availability of various water qualities for experiments – from groundwater to wastewater (ground water, tap water from the plant’s own water works, water of different conductivity, waste water: mechanically or biologically treated municipal waste water or effluent of a membrane filtration device)
  • long stream distance allowing point-source loadings
  • different levels of simulation by use of indoor and outdoor systems (controlled variability of light, temperature, wind, leaf litter, colonization of insects etc., water bodies are large enough to carry all trophic levels including fish)
  • option to use up to 8 replicates in parallel for each of the indoor and/or outdoor systems
  • simulation of groundwater flow in semi-natural conditions (influent/effluent flow regime, remobilization of substances)
  • possibility of using municipal wastewater
  • additional technical devices for measurements in water and sediment (online measuring devices, optodes, mobile measuring platforms, computer-navigated profiler etc.)
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El simulador de cursos y cuerpos de agua – Introducción

El simulador de cursos y cuerpos de agua (FSA por sus siglas en alemán) en la estación experimental de la Agencia Federal de Medio Ambiente en Berlin-Marienfelde es un nuevo y avanzado equipamiento de medición de grandes dimensiones. Este incluye 16 canales con una longitud total de 1,6 km a los que se suman 16 lagunas y una red de cañerías de aprox. 5 km de extensión con 60 bombas y 360 compuertas más el equipamiento de medición necesario.

En el FSA es posible simular cursos y cuerpos de agua desde esteros, arroyos a ríos pasando por charcas, lagunas y lagos hasta ríos con características lacustres con sus respectivas biocenosis acuáticas. De esta manera el FSA pertenece a la categoría de los grandes ecosistemas modelados, que representan el interfase entre los simplificados experimentos de laboratorio, fáciles de controlar, y los experimentos de campo, de alta complejidad.

Nota: Por ahora las páginas siguientes se encuentran disponible solo en alemán o inglés.

 

Le simulateur de cours d’eau et de lacs – Introduction

Le simulateur de cours d’eau et de lacs (sigle allemand : FSA ) situé sur le terrain d’expérimentation de l’Agence Fédéral pour l’Environnement à Berlin-Marienfelde est une grande installation expérimentale, récente et techniquement sophistiquée. Il comprend entre autres 16 conduits d’eau d’une longueur totale de 1,6 km, 16 étangs et un réseau de tuyauterie d’environ 5 km avec plus de 60 pompes et 360 soupapes de verrouillage, y compris l’appareillage météorologique s’y afférant.

Cette installation permet de simuler des cours et des plans d’eau courante et stagnante: des ruisseaux et rivières, des étangs et des lacs, voire des rivières à caractère lacustre avec leurs flore et faune aquatiques respectives. Le FSA compte parmi les grands modèles d’écosystèmes (mésocosmes) qui constituent les maillons entre les tests en laboratoire, simplifiés et faciles à contrôler, et les expériences sur le terrain plus complexes.

Les pages suivantes ne sont disponibles qu'en allemand et anglais.