Upper Rhine

Study site immediately downriver of Basel's chemical industries

The sub-area is located at the entry point of the Rhine into the Upper Rhine Valley directly downstream of the chemical industries of Basel. Furthermore, this is the site where the Rhine canal begins. The stretch from here to the town of Iffezheim is characterized by 10 barrages and a complete straightening which dates back to the 19th century (so called Tulla’sche upper Rhine correction). In the course of this straightening, the stream and the former, more than 6 km wide floodplain with its numerous furcations, were forced into a riverbed of only 200–250 metres width. As a consequence, erosion increased and the riverbed was significantly deepened.

Sampling site

Weil (km 174) Sampling site situated directly downriver of the Basle chemical industries


Zebra mussel Common mussel species as invasive animal in rivers and lakes with high information level for water pollution
Bream Bioindicator in rivers and lakes
Suspended particulate matter Fine insoluble mineral or organic particles in the water phase


Metals Eighty percent of all elements on earth are metals
Nonmetals Only eighteen elements in the periodic table
Organometallic compounds Organic substances with at least one metall atom
Chlorohydrocarbons Group of organic compounds with at least one covalently bonded chlorine atom
DDT and metabolites Toxic and persistent organochloropesticide
Hexachlorocyclohexane Several isomeric compounds among the group of chlorinated hydrocarbons
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Group of organic compounds with at least three condensed six-membered rings
Biocides and plant protection products Chemical agents against harmful organisms and for plant protection
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances Persistent organic compounds in which the hydrogen atoms at the carbon skeleton are completely (perfluoroalkyl) or partially (polyfluoroalkyl) substituted by fluorine atoms.
Polycyclic musks Class of synthetic fragrances
Alkylphenol compounds Class of non-ionic surfactants and their degradation products
Stable Isotopes Atoms of one element with different weights
Flame Retardants Flame retardants reduce the flammability of objects
Supplementary parameters Additional information for the interpretation of contamination data

Sampling period

1995 - 2017