Matthias Beyer

Matthias Beyer
Technische Universität Braunschweig · Geoecology

Hydrologist, PhD

About

52
Publications
22,440
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
753
Citations
Introduction
MB is the research group leader of ‘Isodrones’ at the TU Braunschweig, Germany. In Isodrones - funded for 5 years by the Volkswagen Foundation - he and his team is creating innovative, application-oriented methods to study the system soil-plant-atmosphere. By combining classical methods with novel, in situ soil and plant water isotope measurements and UAV-based approaches, the ultimate goal of Isodrones is to measure water uptake from deep soil/groundwater completely non-destructive.
Additional affiliations
October 2015 - present
Leibniz Universität Hannover
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • Course in Hydrological Modeling - WEAP21
August 2013 - present
Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe
Position
  • Research Associate
Description
  • Research Project SASSCAL. Development and application of methods for the estimation of groundwater recharge rates using stable isotopes of water. http://www.bgr.bund.de/EN/Themen/Wasser/Projekte/laufend/F+E/SASSCAL/SASSCAL_projektbeschr_en.html
August 2013 - December 2017
Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe
Position
  • Researcher
Education
October 2004 - May 2010
Technische Universität Dresden
Field of study
  • Hydrology

Publications

Publications (52)
Article
An experimental forest ecosystem drought Drought is affecting many of the world’ s forested ecosystems, but it has proved challenging to develop an ecosystem-level mechanistic understanding of the ways that drought affects carbon and water fluxes through forest ecosystems. Werner et al . used an experimental approach by imposing an artificial droug...
Article
Rationale: New methods to measure stable isotopes of soil and tree water directly in the field enable us to increase the temporal resolution of obtained data and advance our knowledge on the dynamics of soil and plant water fluxes. Only few field applications exist. However, these are needed to further improve novel methods and hence exploit their...
Article
Spatially and seasonally‐distributed information on transpiration (T) fluxes is limited in the tropics. Here, we applied a coupled isotope mass balance model to separate water fluxes of T and evapotranspiration (ET) from precipitation (P). The mean annual T was estimated at a resolution of 100m for Costa Rica (51100 km²) and a partitioning of month...
Article
Full-text available
Since 1973, Kunene River water has been carried from the Calueque reservoir in Angola along a 160 km open concrete canal to the town of Oshakati in the central part of the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin and has been supplying drinking water to the most densely populated rural area of Namibia. Despite its importance for the region, intra-seasonal water qualit...
Article
Full-text available
The number of ecohydrological studies involving water stable isotope measurements has been increasing steadily due to technological (e.g., field-deployable laser spectroscopy and cheaper instruments) and methodological (i.e., tracer approaches or improvements in root water uptake models) advances in recent years. This enables researchers from a bro...
Poster
Full-text available
Tropical rain forests are greatly dependent on water supply and are highly efficient in water cycling. Soil infiltration rates as well as tree transpiration rates are high in these often seasonally dry ecosystems. Both deforestation and climate change have been shown to cause drought stress in tropical forests, the former through the increase of ru...
Article
Full-text available
Forest water use has been difficult to quantify. One promising approach is to measure the isotopic composition of plant water, e.g., the transpired water vapor or xylem water. Because different water sources, e.g., groundwater versus shallow soil water, often show different isotopic signatures, isotopes can be used to investigate the depths from wh...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. The number of ecohydrological studies involving water stable isotopes has been increasing steadily due to technological (i.e. field deployable laser spectroscopy and cheaper instruments) and methodological (i.e. tracer approaches or improvements in root water uptake models) advances in recent years. This enables researchers from a broad s...
Article
The Lake Chad Basin (LCB) is an endorheic transboundary catchment highly vulnerable to drought. For effective groundwater management, recharge areas need identification and replenishment quantification. At present, little research exploring unsaturated zone water flow processes and groundwater recharge are available. In this study, 12 vertical soil...
Article
The influence of local perched aquifers on groundwater recharge in semi-arid areas at a regional scale remains inadequately studied, especially in southern Africa where data scarcity limits the understanding of recharge and groundwater flow processes. The objective of this study was to understand the interaction between localized perched aquifers a...
Article
We experimentally studied the heat transfer and flow characteristics of finned oval tubes at different Reynolds numbers, fin spacing and tube orientation and compared results with correlations from literature. As assessment parameters we used the efficiency index, the performance evaluation criterion and the global performance criterion. For tubes...
Poster
Full-text available
In situ methods enabling high-resolution measurements of water isotopes in the tree xylem have already been tested but are not yet widely applied. However, such methods would be tremendously helpful in understanding water uptake in plants and related research questions (e.g. uptake depths, non-steady-state of transpiration, impact on groundwater re...
Article
Full-text available
In this commentary, we summarize and build upon discussions that emerged during the workshop "Isotope-based studies of water partitioning and plant-soil interactions in forested and agricultural environments" held in San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Italy, in September 2017. Quantifying and understanding how water cycles through the Earth's critical zo...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge on the water uptake depths of vegetation is crucial for understanding water transport processes of the soil-vegetation atmosphere continuum and relevant for many applications (e.g. the estimation of groundwater recharge, irrigation planning and the parameterization of (eco-) hydrological models). The identification and quantification of w...
Article
The study area is the Namibian part of the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin (CEB), located in central northern Namibia. The CEB is home to 40 % of Namibia’s population, and most of the people live in rural areas. These people depend on both surface and groundwater resources which are limited in this dryland (mean annual rainfall ranging from 250 to 550 mm/a)....
Article
Full-text available
In this commentary, we build on discussions that emerged during the workshop "Isotope-based studies of water partitioning and plant-soil interactions in forested and agricultural environments" held in San Casciano Val di Pesa, Italy, in September 2017. Quantifying and understanding how water cycles through the Earth's critical zone is important to...
Article
Full-text available
The rural population in parts of the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin (CEB) in Namibia depends on groundwater as a source for drinking and livestock watering. The aim of this study is to investigate spatial-temporal patterns for understanding water origins and recharge processes of perched aquifers in the CEB. The study uses hydrochemical data and water stable...
Article
Full-text available
Zusammenfassung Die Quantifizierung der Grundwasserneubildung in Trockengebieten stellt aufgrund klimatischer Gegebenheiten, mächtiger ungesättigter Zonen sowie hochangepasster Vegetation eine besondere Herausforderung dar. In dieser Arbeit wurden Methoden, die auf stabilen Bodenwasserisotopen basieren, detailliert untersucht: (i) die Auswertung na...
Article
Full-text available
Mombasa faces severe water scarcity problems. The existing supply is unable to satisfy the demand. This article demonstrates the combination of satellite image analysis and modelling as tools for the development of an urban rainwater harvesting policy. For developing a sustainable remedy policy, rooftop rainwater harvesting (RRWH) strategies were i...
Poster
Full-text available
‘From which soil depths does a plant obtain its water?’ – This classic ecohydrological problem is nontrivial and fundamental aspects related to the question how and from which reservoirs plants receive their water from are currently neither completely understood nor quantifiable. We present a combined framework for investigating water uptake depths...
Article
A hydrogeochemical and stable isotope study (2H and 18O) was carried out in the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin in order to characterize available groundwater and to identify possible recharge mechanisms for the perched aquifers. Data were collected during seven field campaigns between 2013 and 2015 from a total of 24 shallow and deep groundwater hand-dug wel...
Article
Full-text available
Rationale: The ability to recover the isotopic signature of water added to soil samples that have previously been oven dried decreases with the increasing presence of silt and clay. The effects on the isotopic signature of water associated with physicochemical soil properties are not yet fully understood, for either hydration or dehydration of soi...
Thesis
Full-text available
Water scarcity has become an issue world-wide, especially in arid and semi-arid environments (or, water-limited environments – WLE) which occupy almost half of the global land area. More than ninety percent of the people living in these environments depend on groundwater for domestic and livestock water supply whereas the omnipresent farming practi...
Article
The Zambezi-Chobe wetlands in Namibia are of great international importance for trans-boundary water management because of their remarkable ecological characteristics and the variety and magnitude of the ecosystem services provided. The main objective of this study is to establish the hydro-ecological baseline for the application of environmental f...
Article
Non- or minimum-invasive methods for the quantification of rooting depths of plants are rare, in particular in (semi-)arid regions; yet, this information is crucial for the parameterization of SVAT (Soil–Vegetation–Atmosphere Transfer) models and understanding of processes within the hydrological cycle. We present a technique utilizing the stable i...
Article
Full-text available
Stable isotopes (deuterium, 2H, and oxygen-18, 18O) of soil water were measured in the field using a liquid water isotope analyzer (tunable off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscope, OA-ICOS, LGR) and commercially available soil gas probes (BGL-30, UMS, Munich) in the semi-arid Cuvelai–Etosha Basin (CEB), Namibia. Results support the applicabi...
Article
Full-text available
Groundwater recharge estimations are necessary for sustainable management of groundwater resources. Among various hydraulic, hydrogeological and hydrological approaches, tracer methods are proposed to improve groundwater recharge estimations. Soil water isotope-based estimates of groundwater recharge rates were developed in the 1960s and have been...
Conference Paper
Most of the water for human and livestock consumption in (semi-) arid regions is extracted from groundwater. In the face of climate change knowledge about groundwater recharge quantities is essential for sustainable water management. Information about meteorology, hydrology and hydrogeology in these regions is often sparse. Within this study we com...
Article
Full-text available
The stable water isotope deuterium (2H) was applied as an artificial tracer (2H2O) in order to estimate groundwater recharge through the unsaturated zone and describe soil water movement in a semi-arid region of northern central Namibia. A particular focus of this study was to assess the spatiotemporal persistence of the tracer when applied in the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Common modeling approaches of water fluxes in the unsaturated zone use computer models solving the Richards-Equation. Hydraulic parameters are derived from infiltration tests, grain size analysis, bulk density and pedotransfer functions (PTF). Calibration is further done using soil moisture and suction tension measurements. Recent developments in m...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The stable isotopes of water, in particular deuterium (2H) have been proven to be suitable tracers within soil-vegetation-atmosphere interface (Koeniger et al., 2010 ; Beyer et al., 2015). However, little experimental evidence exists on the persistence of artificially introduced 2H2O (deuterated water) in the unsaturated zone of dry climates, and t...
Article
Full-text available
Stable isotopes (deuterium, 2H, and oxygen-18, 18O) of soil pore water were measured directly in the field using tunable off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscopy (OA-ICOS) and commercially available soil gas probes in a semi-arid region of the 5 Cuvelai-Etosha-Basin, Namibia. High spatial and temporal resolution was achieved in the study area...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates rainfall characteristics in the Upper Zambezi River Basin and implications for rain-fed agriculture. Seventeen indices describing the character of each rainy season were calculated using a bias-corrected version of TRMM-B42 v6 rainfall estimate 1998-2010. These were correlated with maize yields obtained by applying a SVAT-mo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Stable Isotopes of water are powerful proxies for the description of water fluxes such as infiltration, evapotranspiration and plant water uptake in a natural water resource system. Especially the measurement of soil pore water provides information on soil hydraulic properties and interactions within the soil-plant-atmosphere-interface. To gather s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Proper estimations of groundwater recharge rates are essential for a sustainable management of water resources. Numerous methods are available (Scanlon et al., 2002); however, their applicability and reliability varies greatly depending on available data, spatiotemporal scales and climatic conditions within the studied area. The peak-displacement m...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The role of the vertical and lateral distribution of plant roots on the water balance of semi-arid areas is yet not well understood. Due to heterogeneity in soil types, vegetation and rainfall, precise site studies are needed in order to improve understanding of processes and quantify groundwater recharge rates. The stable isotope deuterium (2H) ha...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Water Resource Management (WRM) in semi-arid areas has been and is continuing to be challenging, especially in Africa where climatic variability is extreme and vulnerability is high. In the context of changing climate and growing population, pressure on both green and blue water resources is expected to increase significantly in the future. To miti...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Through which pathways hydraulic redistribution takes place and which plant characteristics determine the amount of water transferred and the terms of trade between arbuscular mycorrhiza and plants? How is the indirect interaction between different plant species connected by a CMN (common mycorrhiza network)? Is a plant preferred or better supplied by the AM and why? How high is the fractionation factor when water is transferred between plant species? Do AM have a fractionation effect on ²H/18O during water absorption? Can the geophysical method 'Induced polarization' help to evaluate the amount of roots and hyphae in different soil layers? Which role play AM for the water transport in intercroppings with shallow and deep-rooted plants considering HR (hydraulic redistribution)?
Project
A fundamental question for hydrologists and ecologists is how water moves through ecosystems. However, key aspects are currently neither completely understood nor quantifiable. One of those is the functioning of deep roots. Despite of their global occurrence, buffering function during droughts and thus, implications for predicted climatic changes, deep roots are rarely considered in the management of water resources. The goal of this project is to develop a framework for quantifying the impact of deep roots on the water balance. We challenge current research gaps by developing a holistic approach for explaining why, how, and by which magnitude deep roots extract water from soils and groundwater. For achieving this, advances in isotope-based methods in ecohydrology will be used in concert with novel opportunities provided by specialized drones (UAV-unmanned aerial vehicle) for highly resolute imagery and sample collection from the canopy. This integrated approach of above- vs. belowground techniques in a high spatiotemporal resolution enables understanding feedbacks between vegetation and its water sources. Ultimately, this project will help to improve our knowledge of the functioning of plants under different climatic conditions and could alter the perception of vegetation within the hydrological cycle. This Project with a total duration of 5 years is fully funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. We kindly appreciate their support. Project updates: www.isodrones.de