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Identifying and quantifying diffuse pollution in metal mine catchments

We are exploring the best ways of identifying sources of diffuse pollution in river catchments.

Project leader

Dr Adam Jarvis



Project staff

Dr Catherine Gandy

Dr Angela Sherry


Coal Authority


British Geological Survey (BGS)

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH)


Diffuse pollution does not arise at a single location on the earth’s surface, unlike a point source, such as a discharge from a pipe. Rather, it comes from many locations across an area. Thus, diffuse sources of pollution are difficult to identify and measure.

We are investigating how to quantify the amounts of pollution coming from them. We are working with the British Geological Survey (BGS) and Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH).

We are exploring a variety of approaches to both identify and quantify diffuse sources of pollution. These include:

  • geophysical techniques
  • airborne remote sensing
  • intensive water quality and river flow monitoring

We can then determine the most important sources of pollution within any particular river system. This will allow well-informed decisions about which sources of pollution to clean up.