Comparing estuaries in Knysna and China
A delegation of Chinese professors and students have partnered up with UCT’s professor Mike Meadows and students to gather and collect information from the Knysna estuary in a comparative study with the Yangtze estuary, which is one of the world’s largest alluvial estuaries, adjacent to the most developed economic zone in China.
The Chinese delegation hails from East China Normal University and the South African group is from the UCT department of environmental and geographical science.
The group of 22 people arrived in Knysna on 30 March and immediately set up sophisticated equipment to measure and collect samples of the sediment along the estuary during high and low tides, including equipment to collect data relating to numerous other elements also being studied. Meadows, who is also the secretary general of the International Geographical Union, said the project was approved following a joint call for proposals from the National Research Foundation of South Africa and the China Development Research Foundation.
He was speaking to the Knysna-Plett Herald on the sidelines of their activities at Thesen Island on Tuesday 3 April, and said the project has started in Knysna and will run over a period of three years.
“It’s a comparative study of the hydrosediment dynamics of a critical zone within vulnerable environments. We are looking at how the environment is responding to human impact, the surface, sediment, temperature of the water and depth, heavy metals pollution and stormwater runoff,” he said.
The group spent their last day collecting samples on 3 April and in the coming months will continue the project in China at the Yangtze estuary before returning to Knysna in September this year.
The team of local and international professors and students who are studying the human impact at the Knysna estuary in a comparative study with the Yangtze estuary in China.