The Host Laboratory for the Szigetköz Supersite will be the Széchenyi István University (SZIU). Also involved will be the Eötvös Loránd University – Institute for Geography and Geology, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences – Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences – Institute for Geological and Geochemical Research, and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences – Centre for Ecology – Danube Research Institute. The Supersite will focus on surface–subsurface water interactions.
The Szigetkoz floodplain, part of the Kisalföld, is a large island between arms of the River Danube in Hungary next to its borders with Slovakia and Austria. The sediment carried by the Danube continuously fills the sinking basin of the Kisalföld. The Pliocene (Pannonian) sandy-clayey sediment sequence is more than 2,000 m thick, while the Quaternary sandy gravel deposit series is 100-250 m thick.
Until 1992, the level of the shallow-groundwater was uniform, controlled by the natural water level fluctuation of the Danube. The several-hundred-metre thick aquifer also had an influence on the Danube. Since then an upstream hydroelectric power station diverted the majority of flow to the power-plant canal and led to a drastic fall in discharge in the natural river network fell drastically. As the subsurface aquifer of the area is in close connection with the surface water network, the level of shallow-groundwater also dropped significantly. The situation has subsequently improved through diversion of water back to the original river bed and building of a submerged weir. Previously the Danube was a source of recharge to the shallow-groundwater; whereas the main riverbed now taps the shallow-groundwater imitating the forecasted impact of climate change for the region.
Széchenyi István University (SZIU) – Local centre of the Supersite and dealing with the social-environmental and economic aspects of the phenomena observed
Eötvös Loránd University – Institute for Geography and Geology: withhold thorough knowledge on the monitoring of the Supersite (continuous monitoring commenced by the ELTE 5 years ago) and the phenomena discussed above
Hungarian Academy of Sciences – Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences – Institute for Geological and Geochemical Research: providing the analytical background and expertise for geochemical measurements
Hungarian Academy of Sciences – Centre for Ecology – Danube Research Institute: providing the analytical background and expertise for biological measurements.