Masters by Research in water characterisation from drained and extracted peatlands, Limerick IT
We are looking for one highly-motivated student to work on a two-year funded Masters by Research funded by Limerick IT investigating the water characterisation from drained and extracted peatlands.
Due to excessive land use and energy consumption many peatlands globally and in Ireland have been drained and cutaway. Peatlands account for 10 % of the world’s freshwater resources and 50% of global soil carbon storage. Drainage and removal of vegetated surface layers for peat extraction have immediate and direct impacts on the hydrology of the peatlands, notably the way water runs off peatlands and water’s storage capacity in peatlands. The runoff water can have impacts on water quality of downstream water bodies. In this project, a selection of disturbed peatlands will be investigated in terms of water quality, peat characteristics and water source receptor pathways. The parameters of interest include BOD, SS, TOC, nutrients, metals and humic acid. Water quality parameters and the peat will be investigated using a range of analytical techniques such as Flame atomic absorption spectroscopy. Flow injection analysis spectrophotometry, electrochemical techniques, gravimetric analysis, fluorescence spectroscopy and scanning electron spectroscopy. Environmental forensics source receptors of water pathways will also be investigated. Seasonal variation of water quality will be investigated such as stormwater effects and rainwater quality. This project is in collaboration with an EPA funded project namely SWAMP: Strategies to improve water quality from Managed Peatlands coordinated by UCD.