EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

How does land-use influence the composition of DOM in peatland surface waters?

Catherine Moody
Catherine Moody
  • University of Leeds, School of Geography, Leeds, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (

Peatlands export large quantities of dissolved organic matter (DOM) into surface waters. The characteristics of the peatland (e.g. vegetation cover, scale, land use) effect the concentration and composition of DOM in the water. In the UK, water companies use surface water from peatlands as a source of drinking water, and the efficiency of the treatment process depends on the concentration and composition of DOM in the incoming water. In order to better understand the link between peatland characteristics and water treatment efficiency, the composition and concentration of DOM in surface waters draining peatlands across the UK was investigated. Water samples were collected from peatland surface waters from over 300 sites across the UK. Sites with different land uses, vegetation cover, management regimes and restoration states were included.

The DOM was extracted from the water and analysed, to determine the elemental composition of the DOM. In future, targeted restoration and revegetation of peatlands could be used to alter the composition of DOM in the surface water, to produce DOM that can be more easily treated for drinking water, or treatment processes can be improved to increase treatment efficiency, based on a better understanding of the composition of DOM.

How to cite: Moody, C.: How does land-use influence the composition of DOM in peatland surface waters?, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9334,, 2020

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