Images and videos of hydraulic shortcuts after a large rain event

This package contains images and videos of active hydraulic shortcuts in agricultural areas of the municipalities of Zürich and Rümlang, Switzerland. More information on hydraulic shortcuts and their relevance for pesticide transport in agricultural areas are provided in the following doctoral thesis:

The pictures and videos in this package are intended to be used for outreach or training of farmers, etc. and can be used freely (creative commons license).

The pictures and videos were taken on 13 July 2021 between 17:23h and 17:55h (UTC+2h), a few hours after a large two-day rain event. The precipitation measured at a nearby rain gage (station Affoltern, MeteoSchweiz; 47.427694, 8.517953) equalled 41.5mm on the 12th of July, and 34.7mm on the 13th of July. The images and videos were taken at six different locations. The situations that are visible on these images and videos are described in the following. For each location, latitude and longitude is indicated in brackets (WGS84 coordinate system).

  • Location 1 (47.42726, 8.52567): Surface runoff on a farm track. Since the farm track is elevated in the middle, water flows at the left and right edge of the farm track. Only at one specific location surface runoff changes from the left to the right side.
  • Location 2 (47.43118, 8.52572): Surface runoff flows along one edge of a farm track.
  • Location 3 (47.43580, 8.52877): Surface runoff accumulates on a potato field, flows on a asphalt road, and then into an inlet of the road storm drainage system.
  • Location 4 (47.44077, 8.52534): Surface runoff flows from a corn field on an asphalt road, and then into an inlet of the road storm drainage system.
  • Location 5 (47.43819, 8.50848): Surface runoff accumulates on a field with bare soil, causing erosion. At the field border with the lowest elevation, surface runoff flows onto a small asphalt road and then for around 180m along this road. Finally, the surface runoff flows into an inlet of the road storm drainage system of a larger asphalt road.
  • Location 6 (47.43837, 8.50621): Surface runoff formed on grassland flows into an inlet of the storm road drainage system. This occurs either directly, or via the road.

Dataset extent

Data and Resources


This Data Package

Schoenenberger, U. (2021). Images and videos of hydraulic shortcuts after a large rain event (Version 1.0) [Data set]. Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology.

The associated article

Schönenberger, Urs. (2022). The overlooked pathway: Hydraulic shortcuts and their influence on pesticide transport in agricultural areas. ETH Zurich.


Open Data Open Data
Long-term data Long-term data
  • Schoenenberger, Urs
Keywords hydraulic shortcuts,shortcuts,surface runoff,roads,agriculture,videos,photographs,images,pictures,pesticides,erosion,fields,farm tracks,crops,overland flow
  • discharge
  • waterlevel
  • agricultural areas
  • farm tracks
  • fields
  • road storm drainage system
  • roads
  • 2021-07-13T17 TO 2021-07-13T18
Geographic Name(s)
  • Rümlang
  • Switzerland
  • Zürich
Review Level none
Curator Schoenenberger, Urs
Contact Stamm, Christian <>
DOI 10.25678/00078A