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The laboratory “Géohydrosystèmes continentaux” is a research unit with 11 permanent academic positions, a few PhD students and post-doctoral fellow as well as 1 engineer, 2 technicians and 1 secretary. Research topics focus on quantification and modeling of waters and nutrients, particles and contaminant transfers at a watershed scale. Members coordinate national and international projects, in different research fields e.g. on sediment dynamics and river pollution by historical contaminants and emerging organic compounds, on water and nutrient transfers and modeling over more than 1 century at the France scale.

A specificity of this research team is the management of 2 main platforms. A 25 km² observatory in a lowland and agricultural catchment is fully equipped since 2013 in order to decipher and quantify particle fluxes originating from surface runoff, tile drainage export and bank erosion contribution. Current suspended sediment fluxes are monitored with a high frequency through 6 hydrosedimentary stations. Fingerprinting combined with morphometric techniques have been used to trace the origin of sediments. In addition, an experimental plateform is present in the lab for the study of small-scaled and complex geophysical mass flows. Experiments are conducted in a dam-break rectangular flume, configuration allowing to reproduce a set of idealized particle transport situations with sophisticated techniques of measurements, such as stirred fluid-bed rheometer, PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry) and PTV (Particle Tracking Velocimetry) as well as techniques of adjustment of optical indices for the two phases and fluorescence.

The GeHCO team is also highly involved in student training and academic degrees: Bsc “Earth Sciences – Environment”, Bsc “Sciences of ecological and societal transition” and MSc “Water and environmental sciences” at the University of Tours.


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