Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




WATER WORLD
New Technique Allows Frequent Water Quality Monitoring For Suite of Pollutants
by Staff Writers
Raleigh NC (SPX) Mar 06, 2014


Researchers developed a new technique for collecting more (and more accurate) water quality data. The technique was tested in this brackish marsh. Image courtesy Francois Birgand.

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique that uses existing technology to allow researchers and natural resource managers to collect significantly more information on water quality to better inform policy decisions.

"Right now, incomplete or infrequent water quality data can give people an inaccurate picture of what's happening - and making decisions based on inaccurate data can be risky," says Dr. Francois Birgand, an assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the work. "Our approach will help people get more detailed data more often, giving them the whole story and allowing them to make informed decisions."

In addition to its utility for natural resource managers, the technique will also allow researchers to develop more sophisticated models that address water quality questions. For example, the researchers are using data they collected using the new technique to determine the extent to which fertilizer runoff contributes to water pollution in specific water bodies and the role of wetlands in mitigating the effect of the runoff.

The researchers used existing technology called "UV-Vis" spectrometers, which are devices that measure the wavelengths of light absorbed by water to collect water quality data. The upside to these devices is that they can collect data as often as every 15 seconds, and over long periods of time. This is far more frequent than is possible with conventional water sampling and lab analysis techniques.

The downside is that they are designed to monitor only a handful of key water quality parameters: nitrates, dissolved organic carbon and turbidity - or how clear the water is.

But the NC State research team developed a technique that uses a suite of algorithms to significantly expand the amount of information that can be retrieved from the spectroscopy data collected by UV-Vis devices. Specifically, the new technique allows researchers to get information on the levels of organic nitrogen, phosphates, total phosphorus, and salinity of the water. This water quality data can offer key insights to a host of questions, including questions about nutrient pollution.

The researchers tested the new technique in a restored brackish marsh that experiences approximately 70 centimeters of tidal variation - and a salinity that can vary from freshwater to saltwater within minutes when the tide turns.

"We found that the automated results using our technique were comparable to the results we obtained by testing water samples in the lab," Birgand says. "So we gain a lot in terms of monitoring frequency, without sacrificing accuracy."

The paper, "Using in situ ultraviolet-visual spectroscopy to measure nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus, and suspended solids concentrations at a high frequency in a brackish tidal marsh," is published online in Limnology and Oceanography: Methods. Lead author is former NC State Ph.D. student Randall Etheridge. Co-authors include Birgand; Dr. Jason Osborne, an associate professor of statistics at NC State; Dr. Christopher Osburn, an assistant professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences at NC State; Dr. Michael Burchell, an associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering at NC State; and Justin Irving of s::can Measuring Systems.

.


Related Links
North Carolina State University
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WATER WORLD
Need a water filter? Peel a tree branch
Boston MA (SPX) Mar 04, 2014
If you've run out of drinking water during a lakeside camping trip, there's a simple solution: Break off a branch from the nearest pine tree, peel away the bark, and slowly pour lake water through the stick. The improvised filter should trap any bacteria, producing fresh, uncontaminated water. In fact, an MIT team has discovered that this low-tech filtration system can produce up to four l ... read more


WATER WORLD
China's Lunar Lander Still Operational

China Focus: Uneasy rest begins for China's troubled Yutu rover

Is Yutu Stuck?

Japan's Pocari Sweat bound for the moon: maker

WATER WORLD
NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Views Striated Ground

NASA Mars Orbiter Views Opportunity Rover on Ridge

Curiosity Adds Reverse Driving for Wheel Protection

Curiosity Drives On After Crossing Martian Dune

WATER WORLD
Last Shuttle Commander Virtually Flies Boeing CST-100 to ISS

DARPA Open Catalog Makes Agency-Sponsored Software and Publications Available to All

India unveils its own astronaut crew capsule, plans test launch

Orion Underway Recovery Testing Begins off the Coast of California

WATER WORLD
The Next Tiangong

No Call for Yutu

What's up, Yutu

China's Jade Rabbit rover comes 'back to life'

WATER WORLD
Cosmonauts on space station to turn teacher for Russian students

Space suit leak happened before, NASA admits

NASA Seeks US Industry Feedback on Options for Future ISS Cargo Services

NASA, International Space Station Partners Announce Future Crew Members

WATER WORLD
Russia to Start Building New Manned Rocket Launch Pad in 2015

New Vostochny space center a key priority for Russian Far East

'Mission of Firsts' Showcased New Range-Safety Technology at NASA Wallops

First Copernicus satellite at launch site

WATER WORLD
Kepler Mission Announces a Planet Bonanza, 715 New Worlds

Water is Detected in a Planet Outside Our Solar System

NASA cries planetary 'bonanza' with 715 new worlds

Detection of Water Vapor in the Atmosphere of a Hot Jupiter

WATER WORLD
3-D printer creates transformative device for heart treatment

First step towards programmable materials

Save Money and the Planet: Turn Your Old Milk Jugs into 3D Printer Filament

New formula to calculate hue improves accuracy of color analysis




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.