Model catchment area "Rindbach"

The establishment of a model catchment area for science and research is another important milestone in the action programme "Forests protect us!". Located in close proximity to the Protective Forest Hub at Traunkirchen, the catchment area of the Rindbach in the municipality of Ebensee/Upper Austria was chosen for this purpose.

The term ‘catchment area’ refers to an area from which a torrent or river is fed. This area is delimited by natural watersheds, for example by a mountain range or a crest.

The Rindbach drains an area of about 23.4 km² and flows directly into the southern banks of the lake "Traunsee".

The catchment area Rindbach is characterised above all by its high level of forest cover. The highest points of the catchment area are located clearly below the natural forest line. The hurricanes ‘Kyrill’ (2007), ‘Emma’ and ‘Paula’ (2008) caused large deforested areas in the catchment area; subsequent mass propagation of the bark beetle additionally increased the calamity areas. For this reason research in the Rindbach model catchment area focuses on the interaction between forests and natural hazards, in particular on the effect of forests on the runoff as well as on channel processes and avalanches. Different monitoring systems are used for quantifying these important interactions. Other research priorities are movements in the moraine material as well as the dynamics of reforestation taking into account hunting experiences.