HiFreq: Smart high-frequency environmental sensor networks for quantifying nonlinear hydrological process dynamics across spatial scales
HiFreq is a Marie Sklodowska Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) project funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation from December 2016 to November 2020. It brings together 15 full partners from 6 countries across the EU as well as 7 associated partners from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan.
The key aim of HiFreq is to drive innovation in high frequency environmental sensor network technologies and modelling, in particular to quantify non-linear process dynamics in ecohydrological, biogeochemical and ecosystem monitoring.
Why Europe needs HiFreq
Regulators and industries are challenged by the difficulty to analyse and predict the impact of nonlinear environmental processes on short-term and long-term responses of ecosystems to environmental change. Until very recently, the development of conventional monitoring, forecasting and prediction tools has been based on the assumption of stationary environmental systems. In the context of global change these tools are increasingly pushed towards and even beyond their design limits.
This project follows the rationale that only novel, high-frequency/high resolution monitoring and predictive modelling will yield new process understanding of ecosystem functioning. Technological progress offers as many opportunities as it triggers challenges: what are needed now are new strategies to generate, manage and analyse BIG DATA at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. Innovation can only stand as a synonym for ‘significant positive changes’ if [a] we manage to clearly state the challenges (global change & non-stationarity) and problems (generating and managing high-frequency information) and [b] transform them into solutions, i.e. the quantification and prediction of environmental responses to global change as a prerequisite for designing and implementing adaptation and/or mitigation strategies. The timely outcomes of this project will hence be of great relevance for the scientific community, regulators, and the private sector.