Coupling of the C and N hydrobiogeochemical cycles in high mountain catchments during intense hydrological episodes, estimation of its relative importance in the yearly mass balances and possible implications of climate change

In this project, we aim to study the processes affecting the biogeochemistry of carbon and nitrogen, as they are reflected in the changes produced in the chemistry of the waters draining mountain catchments. This is a continuation of a previous project. The detailed objectives are: 1) To estimate the rates of CO2 sequestration in weathering reactions; 2) To establish the links between the cycles of C and N in the catchments; 3) To improve and adapt the distributed hydrological model TETIS to the features of high mountain catchments; and 4) To forecast the effects of climate change on the biogeochemistry of C and N in high mountain catchments. To undertake this, it is proposed to increase both the space and time resolution of the hydrobiogeochemical monitoring that is presently being carried out. This will allow us to identify the contribution of each hydrological compartment to the stream flow, to detail the spatial heterogenity of these compartments, and to assess the relevance of the abrupt hydrological events (floods anf thaw) in the leaching of solutes from the catchment to the rivers.