This research has been carried under the Geological Survey Ireland 2017 Short Call. This call provided funding for researchers in academia or industry on the island of Ireland for projects of less than 12 months duration and less than €25,000.
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Lead Applicant: Prof Peter Croot
Host: NUI, Galway
Project Title: Building on Tellus: Preliminary investigations into geochemical processes occurring in Connemara blanket bogs
Project Description: The blanket bogs of Ireland are amongst the most celebrated land features of the country, appearing in prose, poem, photo and song and resonate strongly in the social and cultural heritage of the land. Blanket bog landscapes are biologically diverse and are increasingly becoming valued for eco-tourism but their sustainable use is a balance between traditional practices (i.e. turf cutting), industrial use (i.e. wind farms) and the ecosystem services they provide. The Irish government has recognised the importance of the sustainable use of Peatlands through the publication in 2015 of the National Peatlands strategy. However a critical knowledge gap exists regarding the (bio) geochemistry of these peatlands. To address this issue, we propose a preliminary study into the (bio) geochemistry of the Connemara blanket bogs building on the recent Tellus survey of this region to develop a framework for studying the (bio)geochemistry of these ecosystems. In this context we will focus on 3 aspects of blanket bog geochemistry: (i) Redox cycling of coloured and fluorescence dissolved organic matter (CDOM/FDOM) (ii) Role of organic matter and redox in the distribution of pH sensitive metals (e.g. Fe, Al, Ti, U) in peatlands. (iii) 222Rn release from blanket bogs.