Department:Lancaster Environment Centre
Level:Part II (yr 3)
Course Convenor:Dr NA Chappell
back to top
Prior to ENV.310, the student must have successfully completed:
back to top
CMod descriptionback to top
This course is based at the Slapton Ley Field Studies Centre, South Devon in the spring or summer, and centres on a study of the hydrological processes governing nitrate eutrophication of Slapton Ley (a coastal, freshwater lake). The course offers the unique opportunity to examine an actual environmental problem - eutrophication, through the integration of field measurements and laboratory analysis. Field measurements will combine qualitative observations with borehole hydraulic testing and some geophysics. Laboratory analysis will include contaminant breakthrough experiments, soil physical properties, nitrate chemistry and topography-based simulation modelling. Understanding of the nitrate chemistry and remediation / protection measures will be reinforced through a guided tour by South West Water Ltd staff of the Pynes WTW (producing drinking water) and by a presentation by Natural England staff on 'Catchment Sensitive Farming'.
Curriculum Design: Outline Syllabusback to top
1. The Slapton Wood catchment: Introduction to research
2. Small group project: Measurement of soil and rock hydraulic properties
3. Small group project: Transport parameter estimation
4. Visit to a South West Water Ltd raw-water treatment works
5. Small group project: Hydrological modelling
6. Small group project: Soil moisture patterns and topographic indices
Educational Aims: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skillsback to top
Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skillsback to top
On completion of this module a student will be able to:
- Identify errors involved in taking measurements and developing models.
- Compare primary field data with data contained in published studies.
Subject Specific Outcomes
- Assess the hydrological processes occurring within a small catchment. Develop skills in measuring the relevant flow and transport parameters.
- Calibrate and evaluate models of flow and transport processes.
- Devise a plan for reducing nitrate inputs into Slapton Ley.
Curriculum Design: Select Bibliographyback to top
Recommended texts and other learning resources:
Module handout 60 pp
Copies of relevant research papers will be available during the field course: with many available electronically.