LéXPLORE: Experimental floating platform on Lake Leman
“Léman exploration (LéXPLORE)” is a unique partnership between EPFL, Eawag, University of Geneva, University of Lausanne, and CARRTEL in Thonon-les-Bains. This innovative platform is equipped with cutting-edge scientific instrumentation for simultaneous biological, chemical and physical analyses at high resolution.
Importance and advantages
- Continuous dataset
- Such a platform allows to acquire continuous and real-time data, which will be an important addition to data collected by CIPEL. Compared to their traditional bimonthly sampling, these measurements at high spatial and temporal resolution will allow to understand the extremely fast dynamics of phytoplankton populations, to rapidly detect new invasive species and to analyze water quality more finely. This improved understanding of the ecosystem will allow to better model its adaptation to climate changes.
- Promoting research
- This project favors a dynamic and cutting-edged research in the Lake Leman region, by reinforcing collaborations with regional research institutions and by attracting international researchers. Scientists, whom working conditions will be facilitated by this infrastructure, will develop innovative technologic applications to resolve pertinent problems to society.
- Public awareness
- To increase the visibility of the project, public visits are organized twice per year. Later, the population will have access to data in real time, in order to facilitate navigation, to check wind or currents or to detect toxic algae blooms.
Researchers greatly benefit from this novel infrastructure!
Within one year of operation, LéXPLORE already hosts 18 scientific projects. These projects aim at:
- Measure and model key physical and biogeochemical processes at high frequency (CARBOGEN, Primary Production, HYPOTHESIS, calcite precipitation)
- Understand ecosystem functioning ranging from bacteria, mussel, phytoplankton and fish
- Evaluate microplastic pollution
- Develop and test new technology (optofluidic sensor, biosensor, autonomous underwater vehicle)
- Manage and share data with the online portal from DATALAKES
All these projects running in parallel will offer unique opportunities for interdisciplinary outcomes.