Gleb Kravchinsky | ALES Graduate Seminar

Date(s) - 25/04/2024
9:00 am - 10:00 am
442B Earth Sciences Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton

Event details: A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES MSc Final Exam Seminar by Gleb Kravchinsky. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.

MSc with Drs. Miles Dyck and Simon Landhausser

Thesis Topic: Water balance of a hybrid poplar phytocap on a reclaimed phosphogypsum stack


In Alberta, phosphogypsum (PG) is a by-product of phosphorus fertilizer production and is piled into large stacks that eventually require reclamation. The first step in the reclamation process is constructing a topsoil cap to facilitate revegetation. A promising, cost‐effective, and environmentally beneficial alternative to traditional soil caps underlain with expensive synthetic liners, phytocaps effectively reduce deep drainage through canopy interception of rainwater, temporary water storage in the root zone, and evapotranspiration. A phytocap of fast-growing poplar trees was established on a PG stack at a former phosphorus fertilizer plant in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, in 2015. The objective of this study was to assess the risk of deep drainage below the phytocap by measuring and modelling its water balance. Meteorological and soil conditions of the stack and sap flow measurements from representative hybrid poplars were used to create empirical models to estimate actual evapotranspiration, which were then upscaled using measured leaf area (LA).

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