Scientists from the Natural Environment Research Council have been tracking how rainwater moves through the layers of soil and rock in lowland catchment areas (drainage basins) to end up in rivers and groundwater - a major source of the UK’s drinking water. Through this Lowland Catchment Research (LOCAR) Programme the scientists are now able to predict the rate at which rainwater flows through the ground and have also found that, as it moves through the soil, the water becomes contaminated with agricultural chemicals.
Some of the polluted water finds a rapid route to the river through cracks in the ground. But around 70% of the water soaks slowly through permeable layers of soil and rock - such as the chalky downs of southern England - taking many years to reach the water table below, but still carrying its cocktail of nutrients.
Professor Howard Wheater, one of the LOCAR research team, said, “As the use of agricultural chemicals has increased, the amount of chemicals in the chalk has built up - creating a time bomb of pollution just waiting to find its way into our drinking water. We have fed our findings into a model that predicts when this pollution will reach the rivers, helping catchment managers to draw up a timetable for taking remedial action.”
This is just one of the results being presented at the LOCAR ‘Go with the Flow’ conference in London, at which the new findings from the programme will be outlined to users such as policy makers and water companies.
Marion O'Sullivan | alfa
Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy