An evaluation of river catchment quality in relation to restoration issues.

AHMED, Badria S. (2004). An evaluation of river catchment quality in relation to restoration issues. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Soil samples from the surface and subsurface of the floodplain of the River Rother were analysed for selected heavy metal concentrations at 12 locations along the river in order to discover whether the high concentrations, reported in previous studies from 1982 to 2002, had changed. The aim was to review the levels of heavy metal contamination along the floodplain of the Rother. Thirty-seven soil samples were taken along the River floodplain, at different sites and from different depths, collected in two phases. Samples collected, were dried, ground, digested and analysed by Atomic Absorption (AA) and Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) techniques. While the results from up-stream sites were mainly satisfactory, according to the New Dutch List Standard and Kelly Indices, the results obtained from downstream sites were variable probably due to a flood event (November 2002) and/or earlier tipping of wastes. Previous research identified a major heavy metal contamination plume within the sediments along the Rother. By 1995 the plume appears to have divided with one part migrating faster and therefore separating from the second (Duty, 1995). This is further supported by the evidence presented for lead and zinc (Figure 6.1). The present study confirms the two plumes at Renishaw and at Catcliffe indicating a further migration even over the short timescale. Natural hydrological cleansing processes will continue to operate but may accelerate with increases in periods of heavy rainfall causing more flood episodes to occur. Even though there is metal contamination it is not having a deleterious effect on the biodiversity present along the river corridor. Recommendations for reclamation are presented for the purpose of cleaning up the contamination and reusing the derelict land in some meaningful way. The areas of heavy contamination have been subject to major clean-up processes involving not only the removal or burial of the metals but re-landscaping the sites to make them suitable for active recreation. Examples of such reclamation have been completed at Poolsbrook and Rother Valley Country Park and are still being carried out at the present time at the Avenue site and at Orgreave. The implications for the future use of the river corridor as part of the leisure and tourism scene look very good as the worst sites are reclaimed and the others are given over to passive recreation and conservation. If such actions are taken then all areas of the floodplain have the potential for re-use at some future date when the river corridor, at surface level, would be clean and restored to a tranquil fluvial environment with floristically rich riverside meadows interspersed with sites of active water-based recreation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (M.Phil.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2004.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:18
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2018 14:02
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19204

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