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Completed Projects

Completed Projects

Completed Projects

Completed Projects

  • CELTICFLUX - Monitoring of Greenhouse Gas Fluxes

We have been measuring the CO2 flux from a grassland in County Cork since July, 2001. From May/June 2002, we have been measuring the CO2 flux from a peatland in County Kerry and also from a managed grassland at Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford. Over the project period, have amassed five years of continuous CO2 fluxes which have given us an understanding of the seasonal and inter-annual variation and the factors controlling these variations. N2O fluxes have also been continuously measured using a tunable diode laser absorption spectrometer at the Cork grassland continuously since July 2002, and two years of closed chamber measurements of CH4 have been made at the Kerry peatland. All CO2 and N2O gas concentration measurements are made at 10Hz. We have applied models at the plot and field scale to model the greenhouse gas fluxes from the two different ecosystems and a water table manipulation experiment has examined the effect of drainage on CO2 fluxes from blanket peat. The goal of the project is to estimate the greenhouse gas balance of different Irish ecosystems.

  • Flood Studies Update - Flood Event Analysis

The aim of the project was to investigate alternative methods of rainfall-runoff estimation for flood design with a view to recommending national guidance and maybe a subsequent national regional analysis.


  • Modelling of Rainfall Distribution over a Catchment Area

This project aims to look at the distribution of rainfall throughout the same catchment area in Dripsey as the phosphorous studies. Ten stand-alone rain gauges have been installed throughout the catchment, even at this early point in the experiment there is a noticeable difference over short periods of time, i.e., 30, 60 minute period.

This project examines phosphorus (P) migration from soil to water. Three catchments are being instrumented (the Dripsey in Cork, the Clariana in Tipperary and the Oonagh in Tyrone) for hydrochemistry and hydrometeorology. Each catchment is being examined using a nested catchment approach, going from the farm scale of 20-50 ha to the micro-catchment scale of 1–4 km2 to the mini-catchment scale of 30 to 90 km2. The objectives are to:

Quantify the water balance and P budget at each scaleIdentify the mechanisms of P migration within these catchments under various seasonal, meteorological, soil type texture and land use conditions (e.g. schedules of fertiliser and application of manure to grasslands).

The influence of hydrology and soil type on P loss from soil to water is being examined by quantifying the flux of P via surface and near surface flows. Soil water and soil P analysis, stream water chemistry, hydrology and meteorology and land use monitoring will be carried out over the 18 month period from March 2001 to September 2003. A hydrological model (Soil Vegetation Atmosphere Transfer type) is being developed with a new P module that will predict the time series of P levels in streams using hydrological, meteorological and land use practices as input. The model will be used to evaluate mitigation proposals to reduce the amount of P entering surface waters. The wider goal is to develop specific guidelines for Irish agricultural practice.

In Dripsey we operate a set of four nested catchments - at scales of order 0.1, 1, 10 and 100 km2, with instrumentation continuously monitoring of hydrology, water chemistry, meteorology and soil chemistry. Land management practices are also closely monitored.

  • CarboEuroflux – Quantifying the CO2balance in EuropeThe overarching goal of CARBOEUROFLUX programme is to improve our understanding on magnitude, location, temporal behaviour and causes of the carbon source/sink strengths of terrestrial ecosystems which can be used to improve the negotiation capacity of the European Community in the context of the Kyoto protocol. Following this goal more specifically the project CARBOEUROFLUX aims:

To investigate the magnitude of the carbon sources/sinks for a range of terrestrial ecosystems, in respect of species, age, climate, nitrogen loads and geographical locations.To understand the effect of inter and intra-annual climate variations on the magnitude of carbon exchanges of terrestrial ecosystems.To investigate the role of soil, wood and leaves biomass respiration on the partition of the ecosystem carbon exchanges.To validate ecosystem model of carbon sequestration across a range of climate, species and vegetation structureTo verify the stock change approach versus flux measurements as requested by the Kyoto protocol for carbon accounting in the commitment periodTo investigate the role of forest management on the carbon sequestration

The project is based on 30 study sites where continuous long term carbon, energy and water exchanges will be investigated together with ecological processes controlling the ecosystem biospheric exchanges.The study sites represent various terrestrial ecosystems of the European continent, encompassing various species, community structure, management practices and distribution with respect to the change of European climate conditions.The methodology for ecosystem exchanges of carbon and energy is based on the eddy covariance theory. The flux stations measure the net flux of carbon entering or leaving the ecosystem. This is the flux which, if summed annually, provides the estimate of Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE),and thus provides a direct measurement of the annual ecosystem carbon source/sink strength. In order to reduce the uncertainty associated with site-to-site variation on flux measurement methods and calculations, the CARBOEUROFLUX programme is designed with the same hardware and software specifications at all sites. Furthermore data collected at the CARBOEUROFLUX sites will be quality controlled, corrected for frequency losses and sensor separation and, when needed, corrected for night-time fluxes with the same procedures. The CARBOEUROFLUX sites are distributed along a North–South transect, going from about 41° to 65° North Latitude and from about 20° West to 25° East longitude.

The selected sites fall into four main climate classes: Mediterranean, Temperate - Atlantic, Temperate - Continental and Boreal. The major forest biomes are constituted by deciduous (beech, turkey oak) and evergreen (pinus, spruce, helm oak) forests. In these sites the inter-annual variability of carbon fluxes will be investigated. Other forest plantations, natural ecosystems and agricultural crops which are directly related to Article 3.3 and 3.4 of the Kyoto protocol, are included in the current site selection.

The existing Celticflux sites in Cork, Kerry and Wexford have been joined onto this collective programme.

Multiple components of the nitrogen cycle and its interactions with the carbon cycle: treating inputs and outputs via air and water and changes in stocks for terrestrial ecosystems (forests, shrub lands, grasslands and crop lands).Flux measurements to quantify processes and to address to the European perspective, using a range of methods from simple (Level 1) to the most sophisticated (Level 3).Experimental manipulation of terrestrial ecosystems in relation to the key drivers of change in the nitrogen and carbon cycles: climate change, atmospheric composition change, land management and land use change.Modelling the process interactions and scaling up to consider fluxes at the plot, landscape, region and European level.Consideration of scenarios of past and present conditions including the interactions related to nitrogen for Kyoto issues and the synergies (or conflicts) with other nitrogen source sectors and issues.

The project involves over 60 research groups across Europe encompassing a variety of different techniques for measuring N2O ranging from basic chamber measurements to eddy covariance. The Celticflux site in Cork featuring the Trace Gas Analyser will be amongst the more sophisticated and long term monitoring sites.

  • SoilH — Interactions of soil hydrology, land use and climate change and their impacts on soil quality.
  • SoilC – Monitoring and Modelling of Soil Carbon Stocks

Hydrology, Micrometeorology & Climate Investigation Centre

Dept of civil and environmental engineering and environmental research institute