Water research at the University of Glasgow

Using trees to map groundwater pollution

Using trees to map groundwater pollution

Pollution investigation by trees (PIT) is an international research programme funded by the French agency for environment and energy management (ADEME) to develop the use of phytoscreening and dendrochemical applications at polluted sites. The term phytoscreening was coined to describe the use of plants to characterise polluted sites. Outermost rings of tree cores are microsampled and tested for sap-transported contaminants such as volatiles, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBS) and dioxins. Phytoscreening allows semi-quantitative delineation and mapping of groundwater plumes in a non-invasive, low cost and rapid manner.

This project was awarded the NICOLE Technology Awards 2012.

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