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PhD. Topics

Institute of Hydrology

Quantification of changes of heavy soils hydrophysical characteristics by microplastics influence.
PhD. program
Name of the supervisor
Ing. Branislav Kandra, PhD.
Receiving school
Stavebná fakulta STU
One of the major problems today is the global microplastic contamination of the natural environment. An estimated 350 million tonnes of different types of polymers are produced annually, disintegrating into particles of various sizes and shapes. Microplastics are particles in the order of micrometers that can contaminate organisms and the environment, including soil, in various ways. The content of microplastics in the soil affects its physical, chemical and biological properties. Nevertheless, few studies have addressed the environmental impact of microplastics on the soil. Some of these pointed out how the presence of microplastics can modify soil hydrophysical properties. The aim of the dissertation will be to analyse the influence of selected types of microplastics on the hydrophysical properties of soils (texture, soil bulk density, porosity, hydraulic conductivity, soil water retention curve, etc.). The research will be carried out in laboratory conditions on soil samples representing the East Slovakian lowlands. Soil sampling will be taken out so that selected localities cover typical lowland soil species. The contribution of the work will be not only the expansion of knowledge about the degree of influence of various microplastics on the hydrophysical characteristics of soils but also a better understanding of the change in hydrological conditions in such contaminated soils. The obtained results can also be used in numerical simulations on mathematical models of soil water regime.