Environmental monitoring projects

Part of: Environmental monitoring

Area of Expertise:

Research into the modelling and monitoring the impact of potential NVZ designations on surface water quality and farm management practices. Summary to be provided


Modelling and monitoring the impact of potential NVZ designations on surface water quality and farm management practices


Most NI rivers and lakes are eutrophic, due mainly to enrichment of watercourses with N and P leaching from agricultural land. While P is the true limiting factor, measures to reduce nitrate should also reduce P losses. Under the eutrophic criteria of the EU Nitrates Directive, the catchments to these waters must be designated as NVZs. This project will model and monitor changes in N and P losses to watercourses in these catchments, before and after designation, to identify the impact of measures introduced under action plans in these areas; these measures include lower organic-N loading, restricted dates of slurry application and increased storage times of slurries. As cyclic changes in nitrate loadings observed in the rivers to-date are likely to be greater than the effects of NVZ designation, the monitoring life span is likely to extend beyond the 3-yr time span planned for the modelling work.

Journal articles

Jordan, C. , Smith, R. V. (2005). Methods to predict the agricultural contribution to catchment Nitrate Loads : Designation of Nitrate Vulnerable Zones in Northern Ireland. Journal of Hydrology, 304:316-329

Smith, R. V. , Jordan, C. , Annett, J. A. (2005). A phosphorus budget for Northern Ireland: inputs to inland and coastal waters. Journal of Hydrology, 304:193-202

Knowledge transfer

Jordan, C. (2007). The Lakes and Loughs of County Tyrone. Locations and characteristics of lakes in Co Tyrone to S McGivern, PhD student, QUB Archaeology.

Jordan, C. (2006). Export coefficients for N and P by CORINE land cover class for Northern Ireland catchments. Coefficients provided to John Wang, PhD Student, Cardiff University.

Jordan, C. , Smith, R. V. (2005). N budget for grassland in Northern Ireland. Data supplied to Christopher Breen, Ag Economist, Dundonald House.

Jordan, C. , Higgins, A. J. , McBride, A. (2005). GIS data for farms involved in ESA monitoring programme. Orthos and 1:2500 vectors extracted and supplied for 6 study areas.

Jordan, C. (2005). Orthimagery for Stangford Lough coastline. Digital datasets provided to Dr Matt Service for use in Aquatics Sea Loughs GIS.

Jordan, C. , Higgins, A. J. (2005). Web access to maps in the Science Service. Live demo of Science Service GIS, AEB seminar programme, Newforge, 23rd Feb 2005

Jordan, C. , Higgins, A. J. (2005). Web Browser Access to Digital Maps. User Guide for Science Service GIS

Jordan, C. , Zhang, Z. (2004). GIS: A key tool for analysing data from the 2002 synoptic lake survey of Northern Ireland. Presentation to EHS, Lisburn 15th December 2004

Jordan, C. (2004). Environmental datasets for the River Bush catchment. Soil, land and HOST class, land cover (CORINE), soil pH, Olsen-P, total-P and stream order supplied to EHS WMU.

Jordan, C. , Zhang, Z. (2004). Lake catchment characteristics and lake water quality (March 2002 survey). Presentation to EHS, Newforge, 28th April 2004

Jordan, C. (2003). A screening tool to identify and characterise diffuse pollution pressures - data for Northern Ireland. Provision of geo-referenced soil and environmental datasets for input to the modelling tool for Northern Ireland (In-Press)

Jordan, C. (2003). Nitrate vulnerable zones - identification using GIS. Presentation given to Polish scientists on a study visit to DARD Science Service


Jordan, C. , Higgins, A. J. (2005). Science Service Web Map Browser User Guide V1.0. User Guide for Science Service Web Map Browser.

Jordan, C. (2004). A portal to access key environmental datasets - the way forward. Document presented to the DARD GIS Forum.

Jordan, C. (2004). How Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland delivers customer benefits. EuroGeographics - Annual Report 2003. (In-Press)

Jordan, C. , Gibson, C. E. , Thomas, A. (2003). A synoptic survey of Northern Ireland small lakes : Lake catchment delineation. Phase 2 Report to EHS re CON 4/4(60, WR150/01.