Project properties

Title Contribution of clay application to SOC stabilization in Dutch peat meadows
Group Soil Chemistry and Chemical Soil Quality
Project type thesis
Credits 36
Supervisor(s) Mathilde Hagens (SOC); Thom van der Sluijs (LBI)
Examiner(s) t.b.d.
Contact info;
Begin date 2024/07/01
End date
Description The ‘Klei in Veen’ (clay in peat) project researches if and how the addition and natural mixing of clay can reduce organic matter oxidation and CO2 emissions from peat meadows. This research started with lab experiments where reduced CO2 fluxes from multiple peat and clay mixtures were measured compared to peat controls. Currently, several lab and field experiments are running to further study the underlying mechanisms and applicability of the measure for farmer’s practice.

In this thesis project we would like to dive deeper into the effect of clay naturally mixed with peat under field conditions on soil organic carbon (SOC) stabilization. You will collect samples from a selection of 16 peat meadows across the Netherlands onto which 1-2 cm of clay has been applied between 2018 and 2022. You will measure SOC stability using one or more of the following methods: density fractionation, thermal stability via Rock-Eval pyrolysis and/or aggregate stability. You will link these results to existing datasets on grass quality, biodiversity and soil characteristics.
Used skills Literature review, writing proposal and thesis, density fractionation, Rock-Eval pyrolysis, data analysis
Requirements Required courses for MSc thesis Soil Chemistry and Chemical Soil Quality. Some experience with working in the lab and R for data analysis is highly desirable.