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Displaying theses 1-10 of 229 total
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M. van Dusseldorp
Master programme: Geo-ecological Dynamics February 22nd, 2018
Institute: IBED Research group: Earth Surface Science Graduation thesis Supervisor: Albert Tietema
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Disentangling climatic drivers of 15N and 13C plant data in a standardized phytometer setup.
In this research, a phytometer experiment was done to test the influence of a European climatic gradient on 13C and 15N in a plant community including Dactylis glomerata, Plantago lanceolata and Trifolium pratense. Initial conditions in the greenhouses at different sites turned out to have a significant influence on the isotopes values in the plant seedlings. After the seedlings grew in the local climates for 50-days, correlations were found for the changes in 13C and 15N and climatic parameters. The short-term changes in these isotopes in plant material from seeds to seedlings and due to local climatic conditions in the field show that these isotopes are sensitive enough be used as common metrics in climate change manipulation experiments.
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Scientific abstract (pdf 62K)     For more info or full text, mail to:

K. Wartęga
Master programme: Geo-ecological Dynamics January 29th, 2018
Institute: IBED Research group: Earth Surface Science Graduation thesis Supervisor: Erik Cammeraat
Determination of the added value of high-resolution satellite soil moisture in the WOFOST crop model
The changing climate and decreasing precipitation in the last decades have put strain on agriculture in Morocco and caused unpredictable crop yields that affect the country's food security. This situation encourages the use of additional tools, such as crop simulation models, to improve yield predictability. This study uses WOFOST model and satellite soil moisture data to attempt to improve crop modelling and to investigate whether satellite soil moisture has the potential to become an indicator of Morocco’s crop yields. Modelled crop yields, modelled soil moisture data as well as reported crop yields and satellite soil moisture data were used in this research. Modelled and reported yields were compared using statistical tools. Similarly, modelled and satellite soil moisture values were compared in the same manner. This study has not found significant links between the areas of weak model performance and low soil moisture correlations. Additionally, no links were found between yields and soil moisture level during the sensitive growth stage of the plant. This study was a first step, but more research is needed to further analyse the sensitivity of winter wheat to water availability in Morocco.
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Scientific abstract (pdf 3K)     For more info or full text, mail to:

K.M. Michalska
Master programme: Environmental Management November 30th, 2017
Institute: IBED Research group: Earth Surface Science Graduation thesis Supervisor: Erik Cammeraat
Development of a modelling framework for a quick overview of a flood damage estimation.
The goal of the thesis was to develop a dynamically integrated flood damage model that would rapidly estimate flood losses. The developed model is based on two existing models, namely inundation (HEC-RAS) and damage (Damage Scanner). Both models are simplified and integrated in the NetLogo software. The new inundation-damage model allows to model any magnitude of the inundation extent, computation of damage estimation as Expected Annual Damage or for specific return periods, and incorporation of mitigation measures. Later, the model was used to calculate flood damages for the City of Calgary, Canada. Obtained results were examined in regards to the effectiveness of damage reducing measures, and compared with pre-existing flood damages calculated for the City of Calgary.
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Scientific abstract (pdf 2K)     For more info or full text, mail to:

M.J.M. Verploegen
Master programme: Environmental Management October 31st, 2017
Institute: IBED Research group: Paleo-ecology and Landscape Ecology Graduation thesis Supervisor: John van Boxel
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The Relationship Between Rossby Wave Activity And Climate Change
In this thesis Rossby waves are defined quantitatively and linked to climate change. Due to increasing temperatures all over the world, pressure levels in the troposphere are changing. Because the Arctic is heating faster than the tropics, the difference in pressure between these areas is slowly decreasing at the pressure level of 500 hPa (approximately 5.4 km altitude). This changes naturally occurring meandering flows in the jetstream, known as Rossby waves. These Rossby waves play a role in the movement of high and low pressure systems, which in turn influence daily weather. A decrease in Rossby Wave Activity (RWA) results in more frequently occurring dry spells, heat waves, cold spells or periods of rainfall. Using Matlab to calculate trends and correlations in climatological variables, a relationship between RWA and climatological trends is found. However, since there is no statistically significant trend in RWA, it is yet to be confirmed that this correlation is influencing trends in climate change.
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Scientific abstract (docx 13K)   Data file (docx 14K)   Full text (pdf 2288K)

P.A. Zitman
Master programme: Geo-ecological Dynamics August 31st, 2017
Institute: IBED Research group: Computational Geo-Ecology Graduation thesis Supervisor: Dhr. Dr. A.C. Seijmonsbergen
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Automated detection, delineation, and classification of gypsum dolines with OBIA and LiDAR
An automatic method for classification of gypsum dolines in Vorarlberg is proposed. A combination of Object-Based Image Analysis (OBIA) and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology is applied to segment dolines using an ISODATA clustering method. A k-Nearest Neighbour (k-NN), Random Forest (RF), and Genetic Algorithm-based Random Forest (GARF) have been trained and tested with data from two case study areas in the Gampbach Valley and near the village of Lech. The models were also tested for their transferability using an independent study area, which is located near the Davenna summit in Montafon, in the SW of Vorarlberg. The dolines depth and gypsum lowering rates were used to make an age-depth age estimation, which was used to refine landscape development in the study areas.
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Scientific abstract (pdf 2K)     For more info or full text, mail to:

A.G. Romeo-Hall
Master programme: Environmental Management August 17th, 2017
Institute: HIMS Research group: Synthetic Organic Chemistry Graduation thesis Supervisor: Marissa de Boer
A Viable Pathway for Realizing a Circular Dutch Nutrient Economy
This thesis project assesses the potential for phosphorus (P) recovery from Dutch water boards and their municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), in The Netherlands.
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Scientific abstract (pdf 2K)     For more info or full text, mail to:

V. Viert
Master programme: Environmental Management June 19th, 2017
Institute: UvA / Other Research group: UvA / Other Extra internship Supervisor: Dhr. Dr. W.M. (Thijs) de Boer
“Middle Elbe” Biosphere Reserve: Efforts to Sustainable Development; Trends, Potentials and Conflicts.
I worked in the project “Land-use strategies for the development zones of German biosphere reserves (BR) in regards to sustainable environmentally sound development in all economic and living areas, as well as to their buffer and connective function” at the ZALF, Müncheberg (Germany). It focuses on an integrated impact assessment of land-use strategies in regards to sustainable development in the development zones of German BR. The Report is focused on the Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve as well as the Biosphere Reserve Rhön. The project also deals with the spatial-explicit and indicator-based analysis of agriculture, forestry and water management. Biosphere reserves are generally subdivided into three zones. While the core and the transition zones have to follow strict directives and policies, the development zones are rather unrestricted in their land use and regional development. “Land-use strategies for biosphere reserves” aims to develop strategies, that equally encourage an economical and ecological development, to establish an equilibrium between conservation and usage of the landscape. Making the use of a participative impact assessment the project “Land-use strategies for biosphere reserves” aims to develop sustainable strategies for the land use of the development zones, in corporation with land users.
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Scientific abstract (pdf 2K)   Data file (pdf 6686K)   Full text (pdf 6686K)

S.C. van der Meer
Master programme: Environmental Management June 11th, 2017
Institute: UvA / Other Research group: UvA / Other Graduation thesis Supervisor: Boris Jansen
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Sustainable Irrigation for Improving Food Security
Poverty is a major issue in Burkina Faso. This is also reflected in the cities. Urban agriculture is a means for the urban poor to maintain their food security. To ensure year-round food production, irrigation is a necessity. However, as water resources become scarce, food producers may switch to the use of (un)treated wastewater. As a result, irrigation water may contain high concentrations heavy metals or salts, thus resulting in pollution. It is estimated that 50% of the agricultural workforce consists of women, yet these women are often denied the same priveliges as men. Research has shown that women can greatly benefit sustainable development if they are provided with the same opportunities. This research aims to gain insight in irrigation water quality and use in the urban gardens of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. To achieve this aim, an interdisciplinary approach was used, combining natural and social sciences. The results show the following: Heavy metals do not pose a threat in the research areas. Year-round water availability is a more pressing issue. There is a misalignment between producer perceptions on water quality and laboratory analysis. A case-by-case approach is necessary to determine water quality and use.
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Scientific abstract (pdf 4K)     For more info or full text, mail to:

R. Koning
Master programme: Environmental Management May 11th, 2017
Institute: IBED Research group: Computational Geo-Ecology Graduation thesis Supervisor: dhr. dr. W.M. (Thijs) de Boer
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Synergy of LiDAR and conventional remote sensing tools for paleoriver reconstruction in Brandenburg, Germany
This study was aimed to compare relatively new high-resolution LiDAR data with conventional (remote sensing) data to assess the effectiveness of these data sources on mapping of paleorivers, which are former (buried) river systems. This research was conducted in the Baruth ice-marginal valley in the state of Brandenburg in Germany. More specifically, this study was aimed at localization of the former flow path of the Hammerfließ channel, which is now channelized by man. Also, cross-section analysis and hydrological modelling networks were used to aid in the construction of a comprehensive flow pattern and characterization in the age of the paleorivers. Results indicate that digital elevation models, which were derived from the LiDAR datasets, contributed the most to the reconstruction of the Hammerfließ. However, conventional sources, such as seasonal-varying orthophotos and historical topographic maps, also contributed significantly to the mapping of paleochannels features. Hydrological network modelling provided a good impression of the flow network of the Hammerfließ, though the numerous roads and ditches limited the effectiveness of the model. Furthermore, the shape of the paleorivers could be attributed to age of channels in several parts of the research area.
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Scientific abstract (pdf 2K)   Data file (DOCX 8592K)   Full text (DOCX 8592K)

D. Batlle Vazquez
Master programme: Environmental Management April 3rd, 2017
Institute: IBED Research group: Computational Geo-Ecology Graduation thesis Supervisor: A.C. Seijmonsbergen
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Bathymetric profiling using a yellow wavelength and a time-of-flight approach based on Single-Photon Counting. A laboratory study for Dutch shallow inland waters.
Airborne Lidar Bathymetry (ALB) is a common technique used for simultaneous topographic and bathymetric measurements in coastal clear waters. Inland waters represent a challenge due to its smaller size, turbidity or vegetation. The Dutch inland water system represents even a more complex challenge due to the presence of organic components, high turbidity, the shallowness of the water and the bottom type. However, with more than 237.000 km of canals and ditches and a sea level rising, bathymetric data is of a great relevance for water managers in this low-lying country. This Master Thesis present a new and innovative technique that aims to adapt the current ALB systems to the challenging conditions of the Dutch regional water system focusing in the area of Waternet, the regional public authority of Amsterdam.
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Scientific abstract (pdf 3K)     For more info or full text, mail to:

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