Environmental monitoring describes the processes and activities that usually take place to characterise and monitor the quality of the environment. This process is used in the preparation of environmental impact assessments, as well as in many circumstances in which human activities carry a risk of harmful effects on the natural environment. In short words, environmental monitoring refers to any automated sensors that measure physical parameters of our environment, including the noise and the atmosphere.
Environmental Monitoring As A Quality Insurance
Since the start of science based environmental monitoring, a number of quality indices have been devised to help classify and clarify the meaning of the considerable volumes of data involved.
Methods and procedures of pollution risk assessment, relating to sources, pathways of exposure, trends in time and space, anticipatory systems, evaluation of environmental quality and of management practice have been developed over the years.
Furthermore, the study and management of microclimates enhances the yield and quality of the environment: specific tools have been developed for a greater understanding of environmental research, monitoring, conservation, quality and contamination control of natural resources.
Environmental Monitoring Criteria
The most typical management criteria used for the scan of environmental monitoring data is the threshold criteria. In this case, the threshold values are generally defined based on a baseline monitoring campaign, taking place before the event or the series of events to monitor. Pathway Environmental
Manual review of raw data is usually recommended to determine if the observed non-compliances with quality acceptance criteria adversely impacts data use, but automatic review techniques and tools are nowadays available with a high fidelity degree.
Research In The Monitoring Field
Almost all mainstream environmental monitoring projects form part of an overall monitoring strategy or research field, and these field and strategies are themselves derived from the high levels objectives or aspirations of an organisation.
Concerning the formal routine program, in place since 2001-02, monitoring data for many indicators date back over a decade as these were gathered as a consequence of the research used in the development of the various monitoring techniques.
This integrated strategy remains a key part of the overall research philosophy, and is used to investigate both contemporary environmental systems and processes, to build understanding of past environmental variations, and to explore the potential future implications of change in the monitored parameters.
There is a wide range of specialist sampling equipment available that can be programmed to take samples at fixed or variable time intervals or in response to an external trigger. Although on-site data collection using electronic measuring equipment is common-place, many monitoring programmes also use remote surveillance and remote access to data in real time.
The use of remote surveillance also allows for the installation of very discrete monitoring equipment which can often be buried, camouflaged or tethered at depth in a lake or river with only a short whip aerial protruding. In any case, the biggest problem to solve is the protection of computer equipment against damage.
The Future Of Environmental Monitoring
Environmental monitoring can be described as a programme of recurring, systematic studies that reveal the state of the environment. It encompasses the processes, actions and data collection methods used to observe the state of the environment.
New technology solutions to environmental monitoring are proposed and discussed every day in the priority areas for further development and research, and recent developments in the use of fibre optic cable are giving it a further help.