Until recent decades, most monitoring of surface waters relied exclusively on samples analysed in the laboratory for ecologically and management-relevant parameters. It is now possible, however, to automatically monitor many parameters using in-situ sensors and to provide remote web-based access to these data. Such data are typically provided at frequencies of minutes rather than at the weekly, fortnightly or monthly intervals typical of traditional monitoring and therefore capture both short-term change and, for inter-annual deployments, long-term trends. Here we give an overview of the use of high frequency monitoring (HFM) in Ireland and present case studies from a set of four sites, representative of the catchment-stream-lake-estuary continuum, to illustrate new insights that such deployments can provide. These include effects of cattle access on stream turbidity; biogeo-chemical processing in agricultural streams; effects of summer storms on dissolved organic matter in a catchment and lake; and changes in a trophic index in an estuarine setting. We discuss the additional information provided by such systems when compared to traditional monitoring, some of the challenges related to their use, and assess the future use of HFM to inform management of and policy for aquatic systems on the island of Ireland.
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||Biology and Environment|
|Early online date||2 Dec 2022|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 21 Dec 2022|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The work in Case Study 1 was supported by the Environmental Protection Agency grant 2014-W-LS-6 (COSAINT). Case Study 2 was made within the Agricultural Catchments Programme (ACP) funded by the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM). DkIT (Case Study 3) received funding support from the Marine Institute under the Marine Research Program by the Irish Government under the name BEYOND 2020 (Grant-Aid Agreement No. PBA/FS/16/02). Automated monitoring in Lough Neagh was funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Northern Ireland. The long-term monitoring of the Burrishoole catchment is enabled by core Marine Institute funding. The work of Jessica Sullivan (DkIT) in collating cattle images is also gratefully acknowledged.
© Royal Irish Academy.