School of Civil Engineering

Projects in coastal and environmental engineering

Project 1. Brisbane bridge chloride monitoring

Supervisor:             Dr Alistair Grinham a.grinham@uq.edu.au

Current building codes assume no lateral export of chloride beyond the high tide mark in estuarine urban environments. There is a need to validate this assumption and quantify the chloride export area within the built environment. This project aims to survey bridge surfaces for chloride presence as well as establish an aerosol chloride monitoring network. The project is in the early stages of development and will require the development of new research methodologies and innovative environmental sampling techniques. The student will be required to undertake fieldwork for extended periods of times. 

Available to:            Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering.

 

Project 2. Methane emissions from farm dams

Supervisor:             Dr Alistair Grinham a.grinham@uq.edu.au

Highly variability surrounds the relative contribution of different flooded land use types to the global methane inventory. This is partly due to the inherent variability of emissions from these systems, particularly due to sediment bubbling, as well as the realtively unstudied regions and/or land use types. Tropical and subtropical regions, particularly in the southern hemisphere, represent a current gap in our understanding. These areas also represent major dam building zones for hydropower, agriculture and urban water supply given the lack of reliable rainfall that often predominates within these regions. In terms of land use types, farm dams represent a virtually unknown methane source, however this is potentially a major gap in our understanding given their high number of widespread distribution. This project aims to estimate methane emissions from South East Queensland farm dams. The student will be required to undertake fieldwork for extended periods of times.

Available to:            Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering.

 

Project 3. Impact of ocean disposal of dredge material on benthic infauna

Supervisor:             Dr Alistair Grinham a.grinham@uq.edu.au; Dr Simon Albert s.albert@uq.edu.au

Ecological health of estuaries is intimately linked to sediment behaviour, and this has economic consequences including effects on commercial fishing, acquaculture and tourism. It is important to understand the magnitude and severity of dredge placement effects not in isolation, but compared to the range of other influences on estuaries, and then to be able to trace these to their short and long-term biological consquences. This project aims to research the impact of smothering and water qualtiy impacts on benthic infauna in the Mud Island Placement, and determine recovery rates of benthic infauna following dredge material placement. The student will be required to undertake fieldwork for extended periods of times.

Available to:            Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering.

 

Project 4. Volume of mud in Moreton Bay

Supervisor:             Dr Alistair Grinham a.grinham@uq.edu.au; Dr Simon Albert s.albert@uq.edu.au

This is a field based program following on from the recent sediment survey completed in May 2015 by the Icarus Program. The 2015 sediment survey focussed on changes in Moreton Bay sediment distribution compared with a previous survey completed in 1970. A major increase mud distribution was observed with over 400 km2 of the Bay now covered in mud. However, there is little understanding as to the volume of mud that is now present in Moreton Bay. To better understand the volume of mud an intensive field survey will be conducted collecting shallow sediment cores across selected zones of interest. These cores will be sectioned and analysed for mud content. Sediment mud profiles will be generated for each core and then interpolated across all sites to generate a three dimensional understanding of mud distribution in upper sediment layer across Moreton Bay. The student will be required to undertake fieldwork for extended periods of times.

Available to:            Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering.