Dr Luke  Bridgestock

Dr Luke Bridgestock

Lecturer in Terrestrial Environmental Earth Science

Researcher profile

Email
ljb35@st-andrews.ac.uk

 

Research areas

My research studies the global biogeochemical cycles that underpin environmental issues including climate change, water quality and food security. This research emcompasses multiple components of the earth system, spanning the land-ocean continuum: Soils, rivers, estuaries, ocean, marine sediments. 

Current research topics include:

1. Quantifying imbalances in soil formation vs loss rates in response to land use change, dam construction and climate change. Human perturbation to the erosion and redistribution of soils in river catchments is recognized as a leading cause of land degradation. My research is developing a new approach to improve quantification of rates of land degradation resulting from perturbations to soil formation vs erosion balances. This approach is based on the barium isotope mass balance of critical zone inputs and outputs. Application of this tool to riverine outputs has the potential to quantify contempory imbalances soil formation vs loss rates, while its application to marine archives (corals an bulk marine sediments) offers the potential to reconstruct these changes in the past.

2. Quantifying the significance of carbon dioxide emissions associated with chemical weathering reactions from mining activities. The transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissons requires increased metal production by mining activities. Minimizing the greenhouse gas emissions of mining operations is therefore a key consideration for pathways to net zero. My research seeks to quantify the significance of a CO2 emission source that is currently poorly considered in mining carbon footprints; CO2 emissions arising from the neutralization of sulfuric acid by carbonate alkalinity. Current projects are focusing on quantifying these reactions in the Ria de Huelva estuary, Spain, which recieves input from two of the worlds most polluted rivers in terms of acid mine drainage.

Other research interests include tracking the release of anthropogenic trace metal pollutants in the environment, and improving techniques for quantifying CO2 sequestration by enhanced weathering by tracing critical zone cation exchange reactions.

Selected publications

 

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