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Windfarms and peat - can green energy lead to brown water?

The Albany Centre 44 Ashley Street, Glasgow, Glasgow City, UK

Windfarms and peat - can green energy lead to brown water?
by Dr. Melanie Van Niekerk,
Scottish Environmental Protection Agency

High concentrations and fluxes of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in rivers and streams are associated with the dark brown water colour familiar in many upland, peat-dominated areas and may indicate a depletion of the terrestrial carbon store.

The removal of this colour can also be problematic and expensive for water companies as well as affecting the ecological functioning of the water body through factors such as reduced light penetration through the water column. Disturbance resulting from activities such as land use change can also enhance the loss of carbon and this may manifest itself in elevated concentrations and fluxes of DOC from aquatic systems.

Patterns of change in DOC concentrations from rivers and headwater streams draining Arecleoch forest in south Ayrshire were explored between 2008 and 2010 and again between 2012 and 2013. This time period incorporates the installation of the 60-turbine wind farm operated by Scottish Power Renewables (SPR).

This talk presents findings from headwater scale “spatial surveys” and catchment scale monitoring, and shares some less than glamorous but real life insights into environmental field work.

The Galilean Society aims to promote science to the general public.

We do this by hosting science talks, held every month, covering all aspects of science.

If you have an interest in science, come and join us in our quest to learn just a little bit more...

All lectures are at the level of ‘popular science’ talks and last about an hour, followed by a brief question time where you can put your questions to the speaker.

Talks are £2 and all members of the public are welcome to attend.

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il 17 May 2014



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