4th annual Ozcar meeting 2020

The 4th Annual OZCAR Research Infrastructure (RI) meeting brought together more than 100 participants in Le Lazaret, Sète from March 10th to 12th, 2020.  These three productive days, rich and dense in information and activities, was once again an opportunity to bring together the national community from the Critical Zone Observatories to report on OZCAR activities (work packages) and to present and discuss new transversal axes. As usually planed during the annual meeting, one day was devoted to the visit of instrumented sites belonging to OZCAR RI network.

IIsabelle Jerôme et Philippe

From left to right : Isabelle Braud & Jérôme Gaillardet, coordinators of the OZCAR Infrastructure of Research and Philippe Choler, eLTER France coordinator and co-coordinator of the European project eLTER PPP (Preparatory Phase Project)
(Crédit photo : ©Hubert Raguet)

The topic of the 2020 meeting, karstic systems, provided a great opportunity to discover in greater detail two OZCAR instrumented sites, the GEK observatory (geodesy in a karstic environment), SNO H+, http://www.ore.fr/larzac,  located in the Larzac (la Jasse, Hospitalet-du-Larzac) and the MEDYCYSS observatory (Multi-Scale of Flood Dynamics and Subterranean hYdrodynamics in karStic environment), OSU “OREME”, SNO Karst, https://sokarst.org located near Montpellier.

On the first visited site, we were introduced to the equipment (flow tower, gravimeters, GPS, inclinometers…) used to quantify the spatio-temporal variations of water storages and flows at this precise location in the Larzac (Cédric Champollion, Nicolas Le Moigne). After a gravimetric weighing of the group, the visit was followed by a geomorphological and geological tour of the Causse du Larzac (Philippe Vernant) and a description of the “ghosting” phenomenon, one of the mechanisms for karstogenesis.

sortie terrain SNO H+ Larzac journées annuelles ozcar 2020

Observatory “GEK” Geodesy in Karstic Environment, Larzac
(Crédit photo : ©Hubert Raguet)

In the second site, we discovered the Lez watershed observatory (Christelle Batiot-Guilhe, Hervé Jourde, Jean-Luc Seidel, Véronique de Montety, Véronique Léonardi, Jérôme Demarty, Jean-Christophe Maréchal). Detailed information was provided on the hydrogeological monitoring carried out at the outlet. We then visited the Lez drinking water intake plant located near the watershed, illustrating a real case of water resource management.

sortie terrain medycyss journées annuelles ozcar 2020

Observatory “MEDYCYSS” (Multi Echelle de la Dynamique des Crues
et de l’hYdrodynamique Souterraine en milieu karStique)
devoted to the study of fractured and karstic systems
(Crédit photo : ©Hubert Raguet)

Following along the karstic system theme, two experts (“grands témoins”) in karstic research, Matthew D. Covington, University of Arkansas and Andréas Hartmann, University of Freiburg, Germany presented their latest research.

Matt Covington et Andreas Hartmann journées annuelles Ozcar 2020

From left to right : Matt Covington & Andreas Hartmann
(Crédit photo : ©Hubert Raguet)

Presentations from “grands témoins”

Presentation Matt Covington, Univ. Arkansas – “Advective CO2 dynamics as a control on carbonate critical zone evolution” : Videoprésentation Matt Covington

Presentation Andreas Hartmann, Univ. Freiburg, Allemagne – “Improving the simulation of groundwater recharge through observations in the karst critical zone” : Videoprésentation Andreas Hartmann

A portion of the meeting was devoted to the presentation of the different activities (work packages) conducted within the OZCAR infrastructure, including the work package WP4 on transversal themes. This demonstrated the added value of the first cross-cutting projects funded in 2019, which enabled promising scientific activities to emerge. After the launch of a new call for proposals on transversal themes in  January 2020, new projects of cross-cutting themes for the 2020 year were presented and discussed.

As for  international activities, Jaana Bäck (U. Helsinki) presented the eLTER ESFRI project and two recently accepted projects eLTER “PPP” and eLTER “PLUS” (https://www.lter-europe.net/projects/elter-ppp). The national infrastructures RZA (Zones Ateliers – http://www.za-inee.org/) and OZCAR, both representing eLTER-France, are involved in both European PPP and PLUS projects and, thus, contribute to the evolution of this growing European infrastructure.

Presentation of the eLTER-RI initiative and European projects eLTER-PPP & eLTER-PLUS (Jaana Bäck, Univ. Helsinki): Vidéoprésentation Jaana Bäck

Christian Valentin presented the main objectives and ambitions of the Belmont Forum’s call for projects, “Towards Sustainability of Soils and Groundwater for Society”, https://www.belmontforum.org/cras/#soils2020 in line with the research themes of the eLTER community.

Christian Valentin presents the Belmont Forum Collaborative Research Action – 
CRA “Soil and Groundwater Sutainability for Society”
 (Crédit photo : ©Hubert Raguet)

Présentation : “Towards sustainability of soils and groundwater for society”, Belmont Forum Collaborative Research Action.

Sensor’s Night was organized to discuss topics in instrumentation, particularly on sensors in relation to the call of interest launched by the National Research Agency, ANR, Equipex+ (details of the call Equipex +),  in order to prepare an answer on this call both by OZCAR and RZA communities.

The sensor’s night – (Crédit photo : ©Hubert Raguet)
Alexandra Arènes presented the exhibition on Critical Zones organised at ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany, from 22.05.2020 to 28.02.2021. A visit of the exhibition will be organised within the 1rst international conference Ozcar Tereno scheduled in 2021.

Alexandra Arènes presents the exhibition Critical Zones, ZKM Karslruhe
(Crédit photo : ©Hubert Raguet)
Jean-Christophe Maréchal, BRGM, presented the DEM’EAUX Thau project (2018-2021). This project is supported within the State-Region Agreement (CPER – Contrat de Plan Etat Région) 2015-2020 for an amount of 5.2 million euros. The aim of this project is to better understand groundwater resources in order to develop a water management plan. The Thau basin has been chosen to test this demonstrator. 
Jean-Christophe Maréchal, BRGM, presents the project “DEM’EAUX”
(Crédit photo : ©Hubert Raguet)

To wrap-up this productive meeting, the second OZCAR ceremony took place during the closing dinner. Simon Carrière, UMR EMMAH, Avignon, received the 2020 OZCAR Prize, which is rewarded to the first author of an emblematic publication for research on the Critical Zone and promoted by OZCAR RI network (http://www.za-inee.org/) : The role of deep vadose zone water in tree transpiration during drought periods in karst settings – Insights from isotopic tracing and leaf water potential – https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134332

Many thanks to the local teams from national observatories SNO Karst and H+/Larzac, as well as Jean-Christophe Maréchal, BRGM, for their involvement in the organization of field visits !


Programme & presentations of the Ozcar 2020 meeting