Environmental signals for climate, hydrology and water quality are often complex in their behaviour and response to stress and stimuli. Standard monitoring schemes may fail to detect or reveal this complexity, perhaps obscuring changes or shifts in response patterns. T...
Environmental signals for climate, hydrology and water quality are often complex in their behaviour and response to stress and stimuli. Standard monitoring schemes may fail to detect or reveal this complexity, perhaps obscuring changes or shifts in response patterns. The approach adopted here is to develop and apply alternative monitoring strategies. For example, in surface and ground waters, continuous monitoring is used to generate detailed time series. Water quality surrogates such as dissolved oxygen and electrical conductivity are used to represent chemical evolution rather than using detailed laboratory analysis. Distributed monitoring allows interpretation of transport processes and contaminant source areas. Particular interest has been in the relationship between bacterial pathogens, runoff processes and surrogate monitoring, with the hope that the latter can reveal bacterial behaviour more efficiently than current infrequent sampling schemes. Work on monitoring of karst aquifers is directed at practical provision of parameters essential in characterising the aquifer and in implementing hydrological and transport models. Dye tracing and borehole monitoring are the primary tools being developed.
Landscapes in the southern Appalachians and South Island New Zealand have been studied to determine the response to past climate changes. The landscapes are of considerable age in both cases and show remnant forms produced under much wetter and geomorphically active periods in the past. Land system models are being derived for the respective cases.
Environmental data are being generated and released at increasing rates presenting opportunities and challenges in analysing data and communicating the results to a broader audience. Exploratory visual techniques are being developed allowing a wide range of responses to identified and visually presented to show the subtlety and diversity of responses to global change.