DAFM-funded project assessing the hydrological and sediment impacts of forest operations in Ireland.

The total project value is €600,000 with the project duration from September 2020 to August 2024

Forestry is a significant pressure to many rivers and streams to meet Water Quality Requirements. The project will identify a number of pilot catchments with forestry activity planned. These catchments will be instrumented to determine baseline hydrologic and hydraulic conditions and also conditions in the post-forestry activity period. The work will also involve hydrologic modelling and assessment of the impacts of forestry activity on sediment release to rivers.

4-year research project “Hydrological and sediment impacts of forestry operations in Ireland” funded by the Irish Government’s Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine.

This project is collaborative and involves research teams in UCD (Schools of Civil Engineering, Biology and Environmental Science, Agriculture and Food Science and Geography) and Cork Institute of Technology (School of Building & Civil Engineering) and also involves Coillte and Green Belt Ltd.

Forestry presents pressures to the ecological status of watercourses, with sediment release being a recognised stressor. This field-based project will measure hydromorphological change and sediment release at seven forestry sites with adjacent or nearby lotic waterbodies.

Study sites will reflect a range of soils, topographical and hydrological settings relevant to Irish forestry and the monitoring strategy will specifically target a range of forestry operations (afforestation, harvesting, windrowing and reforestation).

The efficacy and performance of commonly adopted sediment control measures in forests will also be assessed.

A hydrological model in combination with an appropriate soil-loss model will be developed and tested to simulate hydrological and sediment release processes in Irish forestry settings.

For further information on the project please contact:
Assoc. Prof. John O’Sullivan, UCD School of Civil Engineering (jj.osullivan@ucd.ie)
Dr. Fiachra O’Loughlin, UCD School of Civil Engineering (fiachra.oloughlin@ucd.ie)
Dr. Brian Tobin, UCD School of Agriculture & Food Science (brian.tobin@ucd.ie)

Source: EPA/OSi

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