Connecting SITES Water data at Röbäcksdalen to Observation fields on arable land database

04 July 2024

SITES Röbäcksdalen Station Manager, Brooke Micke, and researchers from the Department of Soil and Environment at SLU, Lisbet Norberg and Maria Blomberg, recently finished a project funded by SLU’s fortlöpande miljöanalys program. The primary objective of this project was to promote collaboration between two SLU data infrastructures – SITES (Swedish Infrastructure for Ecosystem Science) and Observationsfält på åkermark (Observation fields on arable land, a task designated to SLU by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency; data included within Data host – Agricultural land). Both of these infrastructures enable the long-term data collection on water in agricultural landscapes at Röbäcksdalen Field Research Station, providing a unique opportunity to connect collected data on agricultural drainage to its impact on the Röbäcksdalen catchment and accompanying streams. 

Through this project, researchers involved in each infrastructure have collaborated to explore potential research questions that could be addressed using the two databases in tandem. Additionally, discussions have highlighted key areas in which additional data collection could improve the utility of the joined datasets. The SITES Water and Observation fields on arable land databases have promising potential to be utilized in combined studies to improve understanding of the influence of agriculture on water systems in northern Swedish cropping systems. Additional data types that could improve the relevance of these databases have been identified and discussions will continue in the future to determine pathways for their implementation. 

Image description: Sampling point 4 from the SITES Water dataset at Röbäcksdalen, placed where Degernäs and Röbäck streams converge on agricultural land (left). The measuring station used for collecting surface runoff and subsurface drainage samples for the Observation fields on arable land dataset (right). 

As Röbäcksdalen hosts a variety of new trials and experiments each year, the potential for increased data connections may grow, demonstrating the importance of improved advertising of these two long-term datasets. Data from Röbäcksdalen SITES Water is openly available on the SITES Data Portal. The Observation fields on arable land dataset can be accessed on, administrated by Datavärdskap Jordbruksmark (Data host – Agricultural land). This data portal will soon be moved to Miljödata MVM (Miljödata MVM - Start (