DIY science on Kinder Scout

24 October 2013
Making time integrated mass flux samplers

A study is taking place on Kinder Scout to measure particles of suspended peat flowing down erosion gullies using an innovative piece of equipment developed by Manchester University.

Each “TIMS” unit (Time Integrated Mass Flux Sampler) consists of a 50 cm long plumbing pipe filled with polystyrene packing beads and closed off at each end using 5mm gauze. The polystyrene beads trap the peat particles (“Particulate Organic Carbon” or POC) in the water that flows through the pipe to give an indication of erosion rates on the moor.

TIMS unit on site.

The units were painstakingly constructed by James Cooper, a member of the conservation and land management team and an initial 10 units formed a pilot study. They were  installed at the bottom of erosion gullies on Kinder Scout for the Making Space for Water project and collected after a month of exposure to analyse the contents for dry weight of peat particles.

A further 80 units have been put in place this autumn on sites associated with both the Catchment Restoration Fund and Making Space for Water Projects. It is hoped that the results will show a reduction in the amount of POC (and thus the rate of erosion) in gullies that have undergone conversation works.

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