In this project, we aim to implement a protocol for the use of the measurement of natural levels of several stable and radiactive isotopes with a view to monitor the biogeochemistry of surface waters as indicators of the ecological functioning of high mountain catchments. These new techniques would be included in the monitoring programme running since 2004 in the Aigüestortes National Park.

The objectives are: 1) to design and test in a pilot study a monitoring protocol including isotopes; 2) to determine the isotopic composition, its range and mode of variation, for a suite of compounds that are substrates of several environmental processes of interest and are thus relevant to the interpretation of the isotopic composition of the products resulting from these processes; 3) to identify which processes have a greater weight on the ecological and biogeochemical functioning of the catchment, and therefore warrant more attention in a long term monitoring; and 4) to propose an optimized design based on the results of the project.