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Durham e-Theses
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Particulate emissions from a steel works a quantitative ecological assessment

Turton, Rachael Heather (2008) Particulate emissions from a steel works a quantitative ecological assessment. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The research presented here was the response to an improvement condition issued by the Environment Agency. The aim of the present study was to examine the potential effects of the particulate emissions from an integrated iron and steel works, to an adjacent sand dune ecosystem, identified as a Site of Special Scientific Importance (SSSI) for its flora, fauna and bird life. A monitoring and assessment of the deposition and flux of particulates was undertaken from April 2006 to September 2007 at monitoring sites located on the iron and steel works and in the surrounding area. A passive particulate deposition and flux monitoring study was undertaken at six sites on and surrounding the integrated iron and steel works using Frisbee deposit gauges and sticky pads. The deposition and flux of particulates was significantly higher at the monitoring sites located on or close to the works, and decreased up to 3 km from the works. The particles found on and near the works were predominately iron-rich, and most likely to be a result of emissions from the works. The chemical characteristics of the particles identified further away from the works were more diverse, and a combination of marine, soil, combustion or industrially derived particles. A desk-top review and development of the model scenario was undertaken, to assess the relevance of the modelled scenarios of PM(_10) emissions, to the total dust deposited to the passive deposition gauges. The model scenario was found to be an important qualitative tool, but could not be used to predict quantitative measurements of particulate deposition due to the limitations and uncertainty of modelling. The deposition of particulates to the SSSI was significantly higher at sites located closer to the works, and increased significantly with exposure time. The iron concentration of the soil was found to be significantly higher on the SSSI than at a sand dune ecosystem 3.5 km away. Cleaned leaves of Leymus arenarius and Plantago lanceolata had a significantly higher rate of photosynthesis compared to untreated leaves growing on the SSSI. Therefore at sites where the rate of particulate deposition was relatively higher, and increased soil iron concentration was enhanced in comparison to similar sites, the rate of photosynthesis was significantly reduced in leaves of Leymus and Plantago on the SSSI.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2008
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:24

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