Grandfather and grandson strolling through Dutch countryside

Onderwerp scriptie

Export of heavy metals from watersheds

The Environmental Systems Analysis Group provides the possibility for students to do their thesis in collaboration with our group. This is one of many possible thesis subjects. Please feel free to contact professors De Vries, Kroeze or Dr Strokal (right) for more information.

Since early 1940, agriculture has intensified greatly with large inputs of nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) by fertilizers and manure. This has led to an increase in crop growth and soil fertility in terms of elevated carbon (C), N and P contents. Furthermore, elevated inputs of metals, such as cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn), by inputs via fertilizer, manure and atmospheric deposition has caused an increase in meal export to rivers. In countries, such as the Netherlands, agriculture is calculated to be a major cause of metal inputs to surface waters.

The aim of this thesis or internship is to analyse past and future trends in heavy metal transport by rivers at European or global scale, distinguishing between dissolved inorganic metals, DIM, dissolved organic metals, DOM, and particulate metals (PM). In addition, the study will analyse options to reduce river transport of heavy metals. The focus will be on cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn), known to have caused problems already. The idea is to develop an heavy metal export model within the steady state Global NEWS model and when feasible add a dynamic model component.

An internship at Alterra is also possible.