Spring water chemistry is influenced by many factors, including geology, climate, vegetation and land use, which determine groundwater residence times and water–rock interaction. Changes in water chemistry can have a profound impact on their associated ecosystems. To protect these ecosystems and to evaluate possible changes, knowledge of the underlying processes and dynamics is important. We collected water samples at 20 locations during 5 campaigns within the water catchment area of the upper Schönmünz river in the Black Forest National Park, Southwest Germany and analyzed them hydro-chemically for their contents of inorganic constituents, organic carbon content, fluorescence properties as well as several physico chemical field parameters and spring discharge. Results show that water chemistry is strongly dependent on geology and that the response of dissolved organic carbon to changes in hydraulic conditions is highly dynamic. Due to increased flow through the upper soil layer during and after rain events, more organic carbon is extracted from the soil and transported with the water. Fluorescence EEM measurements indicate an allochthonous source of this organic carbon. ... mehrThis study can be used as baseline to assess future changes and serve as a supplement to ongoing studies of the spring ecosystems.