Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Environmental Analysis
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Scientists Measure Storm Impact on River Pollution

Published: Friday, September 07, 2012
Last Updated: Friday, September 07, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Scientists at the University of East Anglia are part of a team which has won more than £1 million to monitor the effect of storms on pollution in river estuaries.

Excess concentrations of phosphate and nitrate in river water originating from fields, crops and sewers are some of the major pollutants affecting Britain’s rivers and estuaries.

These nutrient-enriched waters can cause severe problems, such as stimulating the growth of excess algae including toxic species (red tides) that can cause shellfish poisoning in humans. The subsequent breakdown of excess algal biomass also depletes oxygen from the water and can cause widespread death to fish.

Using the Hampshire Avon and Stour rivers and Christchurch Harbour in Dorset as examples, the team will spend 12 months measuring nutrient water quality and examining pollution levels when sediments in the estuary are stirred up by storms. They will also look at how sudden storms affect the input of nutrients and biological activity in the estuary.

The work is crucial because climate change means that the intensity and frequency of storms are likely to increase.

Results of the study will be used to create a powerful statistical model of the distribution of excess phosphates and nitrates, how they transfer from rivers, through estuaries and into the coastal seas and the role that storms play in this process. The team anticipate that this will allow policy makers to make more informed decisions about how to reduce nitrate and phosphate pollution in our estuaries.

Researchers at UEA are part of a consortium including the University of Southampton, the University of Portsmouth, and the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton - which together have won a Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) grant of more than a million pounds.

Dr Jan Kaiser, from UEA’s School of Environmental Science, said: “Under normal conditions, biological processes in rivers help remove excess nutrients and pollutants from the water. But during storms, run-off from fertilised fields and discharge from sewage treatment plants can suddenly increase.

“This can lead to a larger proportion of excess nutrients remaining in the water – resulting in the stimulation of algal blooms, oxygen loss and fish deaths in estuaries and river mouths.

“Current monitoring programmes are insufficient to capture the rapid changes during storms. Our research will use custom-built state-of-the-art technology to close this gap in our understanding.”

Approximately 40 per cent of the world's population live within 100 km of the coast and estuaries making them some of the most vulnerable sites for impact from man's activities.

Previously most water quality monitoring in rivers and estuaries has taken place at fixed times that are spaced too far apart to capture storms when they occur. The project is the first in the UK to monitor water quality in estuaries using sensors and weather prediction technology to anticipate a storm.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,100+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
New NIH-EPA Research Centers to Study Environmental Health Disparities
Scientists will partner with community organizations to study these concerns and develop culturally appropriate ways to reduce exposure to harmful environmental conditions.
Air Pollution Linked to Heart Disease
10-year project revealed air pollutants accelerate plaque build-up in arteries to the heart.
Following Tricky Triclosan
Antibacterial product flows through streams, crops.
Paper Filter Can Remove Viruses from Water
A new paper filter can purify water from viruses, even the most difficult and contagious.
Changing California Land Uses will Shape Water Demands in 2062
If past patterns of California land-use change continue, projected water needs by the year 2062 will increase beyond current supply.
Chemical Emitted by Trees Can Impact Ozone Levels
Researchers have found that the way that isoprene, a natural hydrocarbon compound emitted from broadleaf deciduous trees, is processed in the atmosphere at night can have a big impact on the ozone in the atmosphere the next day.
A New Sensor to Assess the Biodiversity in the Atmosphere
UPM researchers design a portable autonomous device capable of collecting and assessing bacterial, viral and fungal biodiversity in the air as well as pollen in different urban areas and seasons.
Measuring The Airborne Toxicants Urban Bicyclists Inhale
Researchers analyze breath biomarkers to measure uptake of volatile organic compounds by bicyclists.
Elevated Bladder Cancer Risk in New England and Arsenic in Drinking Water From Private Wells
Researchers have found that drinking water from private wells, may have contributed to the elevated risk of bladder cancer in northern new England.
Detecting Nano Amounts In Environmental Samples
The NanoUmwelt project is developing a technique that can detect nanomaterials in a variety of environmental samples.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,100+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!