The Plynlimon Research Catchments cover a combined area of 19.25 square kilometres across two land use types - forestry and sheep-grazed moorland - to enable observation and research in two different upland land-use settings. They are equipped with an array of hydrological and hydro-chemical equipment including: flumes; met towers and met stations; soil profiles and soil sampling equipment; boreholes; experimental plots or sub-catchments comprising different management histories; river flow monitors; and infra-red gas analysers for CO2 flux work.
First established in the 1970s, the Plynlimon Research Catchments have been upgraded and used for a large number of research projects. If funded, a proposed new investment in Flood and Drought Research Infrastructure - to improve the UK’s flood and drought forecasting, planning, incident response and management - could adopt and further upgrade the Plynlimon Research Catchment capabilities as part of a UK-wide integrated network.
The Plynlimon Research Catchments provide unique long term records, including detailed high frequency measurements, unmatched anywhere else in the UK, for: upland water flow and chemistry; plus the impact of afforestation on water yield. Research findings from the myriad of studies at PRC have been reported in more than 500 papers in refereed journals.
Plynlimon Research Catchments data are freely available via the UKCEH Environmental Information Data Centre (EIDC) and research findings have been published in more than 500 papers in refereed journals. Access for field research is available via UKCEH Bangor.
The Plynlimon Research Catchments are located within the headwaters of the River Severn and the River Wye, on the east flanks of Plynlimon Fawr, a 750 metre peak, located approximately 20km inland of Aberystwyth, which is on the mid-Wales coast. The catchments cover a combined area of 19.25 square kilometres.
PRC is funded through UKRI-NERC National Capability LTSS: UK-SCaPE programme plus research project grants.
Plynlimon Research Catchments uers include: Natural Resources Wales; Defra - Environment Agency; UKCEH and university researchers (both UK and abroad); and others over the years.
Landscape or catchment
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