So what is TReNDS all about?
Targeted regulation of nitrate, where regulation is concentrated to areas where the effect is largest, has received a growing attention in recent years. This approach is innovative and can potentially have a large economically impact. However, to fully explore this potential we need to know the variation in the natural nitrate reduction at small scale, which we are not able to describe at present. The major knowledge gaps are the importance of drainage and riparian lowlands on nitrate transport and reduction, as well as the variation in the geochemical conditions in the subsurface.
In TReNDS we develop and test new methods and tools to analyze drainage and lowland processes in details, while a new instrument will measure where reduction of nitrate in the subsurface takes place. Knowledge from the detailed study will be utilized in our models describing nitrate transport and reduction at large scales. Finally, TReNDS will explore how local data and knowledge are best exploited in management of nitrate.
The main results of the TReNDS project are expected to be:
- New knowledge and guidance on how to detect drain pipe location in agricultural fields, which potentially may open a new market for private consultants
- New knowledge on drain flow dynamics of drain flow and its importance for nitrate transport to surface water systems
- New knowledge on low-cost, high-resolution proximal and remote soil and water sensors for mapping major flow pathways in riparian lowlands
- New knowledge on flow and nitrate reduction in riparian lowlands, including the effects of drainage network density, and the total importance for nitrate removal in riparian lowlands at catchment scale
- A new, commercially exploitable, instrument for cost-effective measurements of the depth to the redox interface
- A new methodology for producing a national map of the depth to the redox interface with information of uncertainties for different hydrogeological conditions
- A new modelling concept for nitrate transport and reduction in the groundwater accounting for the dynamics of drains and riparian lowlands and including prediction uncertainties applicable for national screening as well as for detailed catchment studies
- New principles for nitrate management based on local data and knowledge as well as active involvement of stakeholders
- Three PhDs, two postdocs and at least 20 papers in peer reviewed international journals.
The research in TReNDS is organized in 5 scientific work packages covering different parts of the system, where new knowledge and methods are needed. On the following pages you can read more about background knowledge, the study sites and the individual work packages.