Monday, September 25, 2017
Project Deliverables

The Siltflux project is being undertaken through a series of interlinked work-packages, each with specific deliverables:

Work Package 1 (WP1)

This multi-disciplinary project involves a number of specialist partners from different organisations.  WP1 is required to ensure that there is effective and efficient project management and coordination, and to ensure that good technical quality is achieved and that the project deliverables and milestones are met in a timely manner.

Work-Package 2 (WP2)

WP2 comprises three specific objectives:

(1) Produce a detailed review of research of past and on-going research projects

(2) Undertake a detailed scoping study refining the scope, objectives and methodologies of the research

(3) Compile a comprehensive database of all available historical suspended solid and deposited solids measurements and corresponding flow measurements made in Ireland

Through a synthesis of these WP2 objectives the project will; a) quality assure and harmonise all data in the database, b) summarise the natural processes influencing silt generation in rivers, c) identify the main causes or sources of anthropogenic sediment inputs to river systems, d) synthesise the results of recent research on the effect of silt on stream hydromorphology and biota, e) review methods for measuring suspended solids including surrogate measures such as turbidity and acoustic scattering, f) describe available sediment control measures (g) review cases of river enhancement measures and (h) make these data available through online resources and the EPA.

WP2 Deliverables

WP2-D1: A comprehensive review of the international state of knowledge in the research area (by month 4) and scoping study refining scope/objectives/methods (by month 6)

WP2-D2: A database of all available silt (suspended sediment) and sedimentation data for Ireland together with a metadata description (by month 12)

Status – Both WP2-D1 and WP2-D2 are complete but will be updated as appropriate over the duration of the project.

Work-Package 3 (WP3)

Measurements of sediment flux are essential for the proper understanding of the issues, for deciding on appropriate management options and for monitoring the effectiveness of the measures undertaken. Sediment/silt concentrations and fluxes are critical influences on the survival of stream dwelling biota and are therefore strong quantitative indicators of the ecological/ hydromorphological status in rivers. WP3 will assess and validate methods for measuring these concentrations and fluxes.

WP3 will assess and validate an optical method for measuring silt fluxes in surface waters based on scattering/attenuation of infra-red light through the water column by using turbidity as a surrogate for estimating suspended sediment concentrations. The method will have at its core an acceptable level of accuracy, combined with ease and simplicity of use, to provide regulatory agencies with a measurement techniques that will, over time, facilitate the creation of a high quality sediment flux and deposition datasets for Irish watercourses.

WP3 consists of both laboratory and field investigations.  The concept of the measurement methods in WP3 will be developed through a suite of experiments that will be validated in the laboratory during the first year of the project and then in the field in WP4.

WP3 Deliverable

WP3-D1:  Validated methodology for estimating silt concentration and fluxes in streams by direct measurement and surrogate parameters assessed and calibrated for Irish conditions.  The equipment and protocols developed will form the basis for the monitoring of silt fluxes at target sites in WP4.

Status – This work is ongoing.

Work-Package 4 (WP4)

Understanding the role and impact of temporally and spatially variable silt fluxes in Irish river catchments requires long-term monitoring of (1) flow and basin-scale silt fluxes and (2) impacts on ecological condition, for a range of different river types and land-use pressures.  WP4 is structured to provide an integrated programme of silt (suspended sediment) measurement accommodating these elements using the methodologies and procedures developed and validated in WP3.

WP4 Deliverable

WP4-D1: Report and comprehensive Quality-Assured datasets on silt fluxes for a range of Irish rivers, in a form suitable for comparison of impacted with un-impacted sites and the effects of major pressures on sediment/silt flux.

Work-Package 5 (WP5)

Reach-scale river enhancement is one aspect of a range of intervention activities that are often collectively called “river restoration”. Some actions are site specific and address localised habitat issues with little wider benefit (e.g. berm creation), while others may occur at a local scale but provide wider benefits by restoring connectivity (e.g. weir, dam or flood bund removal or lowering).  Despite their importance in sustainable sediment management initiatives, the impacts of larger catchment-scale approaches, such as Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) practices, may not be detected downstream for many years.  This makes it more difficult to assess the benefits of these wider activities over the timeframe of this project.  The project will therefore focus on reach scale activities such as local flow manipulation, stream bed raising and riffle introduction, introduction of riparian and in-channel vegetation and bank stabilisation measures.  In the context of assessing river enhancement measures, it should be noted that these activities will also have an impact on other variables affecting habitat quality, such as floodplain-channel connectivity and ground water/surface water exchange. WP5 will attempt to unravel these complexities by studying information on substrate silt levels and changes, and potential changes to ecological condition in tandem.

Status – This work is ongoing.

WP5 Deliverable

WP5-D1: Report on effectiveness of measures and further data needs.

Work-Package 6 (WP6)

A primary focus of this project is to support management decisions in relation to the measures required by the Water Framework Directive to restore waterbodies to “good” status. To ensure the best possible practical use of the project results, a specific work package is devoted to this task.

WP6 Deliverable

WP6-D1: Report on sediment management strategy and further data needs


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