The CZO Multiscale TROPIcal CatchmentS (M-TROPICS) provides the international scientific community with unique decennial time series of meteorological, hydrological, geochemical, and ecological variables in tropical environments. The CZO M-TROPICS involves academic and governmental partners in tropical countries (Cameroun, India, Lao PDR, and Vietnam) and is included in the Research Infrastructure OZCAR, the French contribution to the international CZO initiative.
Long-term monitoring of the variables needed for establishing water, biogeochemical (including particulate matter), and energy budgets: water and inorganic and organic matter in solution (major anions and cations, carbon), in suspension (suspended particulate matter, including organic carbon), and bed particulate matter
Impact assessment of global change (land-use, climate) on water fluxes, chemical weathering, and physical erosion
Data and information dissemination to the scientific and stakeholder communities
Capacity building in the field of catchment hydrology and soil erosion, through on-the-job training, teaching, and student internships, and basic geochemistry through analytical platforms
Recommendations on land use policy to the national authorities
Multiscaleapproach, both spatially (from microplot to catchment and larger river basins scales) and temporally (from sub-hourly to multi-decennial time-series)
Multidisciplinaryapproach, currently involving hydrology, biogeochemistry, soil science, agronomy, ecology, remote sensing, experimentation, and modelling
Besides data collection and dissemination, the achievements of M-TROPICS on November 2022 are:
257 scientific publications in international journals
33 scientific publications in national journals
1 special issue in the Lao Journal of Agriculture and Forestry (2008): Management of soil erosion and water resources in the uplands of Lao P.D.R., by Ribolzi O. (Ed.), Pierret A. (Ed.), Gebbie L. (Ed.), Sengtaheuanghoung O. (Ed.), and Chanphengxay M. (Pref.)
57 PhDs, 7 post-docs, 6 HDR, and 281 MSc, BSc and Agric. Eng. degrees
The Earth Critical Zone (CZ) is defined as the thin layer between the top of the canopy and the bottom of groundwater aquifer in which complex interactions involving rock, soil water, air and living organisms regulate the natural habitat and determine the availability of life sustaining resources. This concept brings together scientific disciplines in the aim to tackle crucial environmental issues regarding how the various components of the CZ react to global changes, including land use and climate changes:
What are the water, solute, and particulate fluxes exported from tropical catchments?
What is the impact of rapid land use changes on hydrology, water quality, soil resources?
The strategies adopted to answer these questions are often integrated approaches on experimental catchments, where hydrological, sedimentary, biogeochemical and ecological studies can be coupled. Acquiring simultaneous time series of meteorological, hydrological, geochemical, and ecological data over decades on river systems (both small experimental watersheds and larger basins) representative of the diversity of ecosystems is pivotal for the understanding of these processes, building integrated modelling and for proposing predictive scenarios.
Among the Critical Zone Observatories (CZOs) that have been implemented by the Earth Science community in the past 30 years, very few were set up in the Tropics despite the huge importance of these regions in terms of population density, fast-changing land use, biodiversity hotspots, biomass stock on continents (humid forests), size of river systems. In addition, rainfall in the Tropics is mostly governed by monsoon systems, which are particularly sensitive to climate change.
Ratboren Chan started his PhD within M-TROPICS on the effect of geomorphological features and land use change on stream flow and water quality in Lao PDR
Ratboren CHAN is a former student of the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (Engineer’s degree), and of the Kasetsart University in Thailand (Master of Engineering). He just started his PhD at GET (funded by Campus France-French Embassy in Cambodia and ITC), within the M-TROPICS critical zone observatory and the ANR DinBuam project, with the aim […]
IRD ECOBIO Department visited M-TROPICS study sites in Lao PDR
On November 22-23, Emma Rochelle-Newall and Jean-Christophe Avarre, head and deputy-head of the ECOBIO scientific department at IRD, respectively, along with Sabrina Locatelli, IRD Representative in Lao PDR, visited the various sampling and measuring sites of the M-TROPICS critical zone observatory, currently augmented by the different setups deployed by the ANR DinBuam research project. It […]
Inpeng Saveng started her PhD within M-TROPICS on the role of headwater wetlands in driving the transfer of fecal bacteria in tropical mountain streams in Laos
Inpeng SAVENG is a former student of the National University of Laos (Bachelor of Environmental Sciences), and of the Kyushu University in Japan (Master of Science). She just started her PhD at GET (funded by IRD-ARTS and Campus France-French Embassy in Lao PDR), within the M-TROPICS critical zone observatory and the ANR DinBuam project, with […]
M-TROPICS in Laos has set up its new water quality laboratory within DALaM partnership
The new water quality laboratory of M-TROPICS has been set up at DALaM in Vientiane. DALaM contributed with the premises and oven. Christelle LAGANE (IRD GET) installed both Milli-Q water supplier and ionic chromatography, and trained Khampaseuth XAYYATHIP (IRD DALaM) and Inpeng SAVENG (DALaM), who will be starting her PhD at GET on November 2023 […]
2022 long-term missions in Lao PDR
After almost three years of travel restrictions in Lao PDR, Olivier Ribolzi (IRD GET), Henri Robain (IRD iEES Paris), and Laurie Boithias (CNAP GET) could go to both Vientiane and Luang Prabang for a 2-month stay funded by IRD. With Norbert Silvera (IRD iEES Paris), their work there was mostly focused on the processing and […]
Effects of climate and anthropogenic changes on current and future variability in flows in the So’o River Basin (south of Cameroon)
Due to climate and environmental changes, sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has experienced several drought and flood events in recent decades with serious consequences on the economy of the sub-region. In this context, the region needs to enhance its capacity in water resources management, based on both good knowledge of contemporary variations in river flows and reliable […]