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Integrating isotopic techniques with Bayesian modelling for improved assessment and management of global sedimentation problems

Objective

This international RISE programme brings together EU, North American, African and Asian scientists to deliver a powerful tool for sediment management. Siltation of river channels, lakes and reservoirs presents a credible threat to river basin ecosystem service provision and water security. River silt originates in the catchment and the primary driver for mobilisation and translocation downstream is agriculture where loss of soil from slopes threatens food security. Knowledge of sediment source, transfer and residence time dynamics is critical to inform management for future food and water security and cutting-edge nuclear techniques have been developed in a joint UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and International Atomic Energy Agency Coordinated Research Programme to trace river silt back to source. However, the game change in isotopic biogeochemical tracer sophistication has led to a step change in data complexity. While these datasets capture real world complexity in time and space, the conventional statistical approaches to quantify sediment provenance from the tracer data do not. This severely limits the power of isotopic techniques for sediment source apportionment. Advances in ecological source apportionment models based on Bayesian statistics, however, present opportunity. New models, i.e. MixSIAR, have been shown to appropriately address such variability in a quantitative way and, if tailored to river basin sediment tracer data offer to address the above challenge. The central goal is to marry together the strengths of isotopic sediment tracer technology in the EU with ecological source apportionment models developed by North American scientists to deliver a powerful tool to combat threats to global food and water security. The tool will be showcased through its application in water-supply catchments where diffuse sediment and nutrient pollution from agriculture threatens food, water and, through siltation of of HEP dams, energy security.

Call for proposal

H2020-MSCA-RISE-2014
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Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF PLYMOUTH
Address
Drake Circus
PL4 8AA Plymouth
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 90 000

Participants (3)

UNIVERSITEIT GENT
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 90 000
Address
Sint Pietersnieuwstraat 25
9000 Gent
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THE UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 72 000
Address
Brownlow Hill 765 Foundation Building
L69 7ZX Liverpool
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
EU contribution
€ 36 000
Address
Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations

Partners (4)

THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
United States
Address
Franklin Street 1111, 12 Floor
94607 Oakland Ca
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
JIMMA UNIVERSITY
Ethiopia
Address
Jimma University
Jimma
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
KATHMANDU UNIVERSITY
Nepal
Address
Dhulikhel
Kathmandu
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THE NELSON MANDELA AFRICAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Tanzania
Address
Po Box 447
23311 Arusha
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments