The spring semester 2021 will take place online until further notice. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence. Please note the information provided by the lecturers.

701-1673-00L  Environmental Measurement Laboratory

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersP. U. Lehmann Grunder, D. Or
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractMeasurements are the the sole judge of scientific truth and provide access to unpredictable information, enabling the characterization and monitoring of complex terrestrial systems. Based on lectures and field- and laboratory training the students learn to apply modern methods to determine forest inventory parameters and to measure subsurface properties and processes.
Objective- explain functioning of sensors that are used for characterization of landscapes and terrestrial systems
- select appropriate measurement methods and sampling design to quantify key variables and processes in the subsurface
- deploy sensors in the field and maintain sensor network
- interpret collected laboratory and field data and report main conclusions deduced from measurements
Content1) Measurement Science: Measurement precision and accuracy; sensing footprint, sampling design and sampling errors, uncertainty reduction, spatial and temporal variability, sampling network design and information costs

2) Electronics: Basic introduction to electronic components, voltage and current measurements, A/D converters, power requirements, power consumption calculations, batteries, storage capacity, solar panels

3) Datalogging (Lecture): Data Logging, data transfer, storage, and sensing technologies; basic data logger programming; overview of soil sensor types and sensor calibration; including programming in the laboratory

4) Geophysical methods on Subsurface Characterization: Basic principles of ERT, GPR, and EM;

5) Soil and Groundwater Direct Sampling (Lab): Soil physical sampling; profile characterization, disturbed and undisturbed soil sampling, direct-push geoprobe sampling; soil water content profiles and transects;

6) Electronics Laboratory: Setup and measurement of simple circuits, selection and use of voltage dividers, batteries and solar panels; pressure and temperature measurements;

7) Deployment of monitoring network: Field installation of TDR, temperature probes, tensiometers, data loggers and power supply

8) Geophysics lab: Demonstration and application of geophysical methods in the field;

9 & 10) Forest characterization/ inventory: Principles of LIDAR; structures and features of the tree crowns, size/volume of the leaf area tree positions and diameters at breast height

11&12) Ecohydrological and Soil Monitoring Networks- Data management for long term monitoring networks Tereno, and other critical zone observatories

13) Remote Sensing- Basic principles and forest-related examples including data extraction and analysis
Lecture notesLecture material on page
LiteratureLecture material will be online for registered students:
http://www.step.ethz.ch/education/environmental-measurement-lab.html
Prerequisites / NoticeThe details of the schedule will be optimized based on the number of students; some blocks of the course will be offered as well to students of Environmental Engineering