New project to prevent problems with acid sulphate soils using a mobile app

Published: 18.11.2021 / Press release / Research

The new HaSuRiski project draws up risk maps of acid sulphate soils in Finland. Within the project, a prototype for a mobile application will be developed. The app uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to model the risk maps and will help experts plan land use in high-risk areas.

Sulfur-containing acid sulphate soils is the largest source of metal contamination in Finnish watercourses. Arcada, Åbo Akademi University, the Geological Survey of Finland and the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE are participating in the new HaSuRiski project, which is creating risk maps of various types of acid sulphate soils in the pilot areas of the Laihianjoki and the Siikajoki drainage basins.

Within the framework of the project, Arcada will produce a prototype for a new type of mobile application that can be used to assess the risk posed by the sulphate soils. The mobile application uses machine learning and artificial intelligence in a new and innovative way. Åbo Akademi University, together with GTK and SYKE, will investigate factors that affect the impact of sulphate soils on watercourses.

– The mobile app can help water management planners, contractors and experts to plan land use in high-risk areas and target the right type of measures already in the field, says Kaj-Mikael Björk, senior lecturer in analytics and logistics at Arcada University of Applied Sciences.

Climate change is affecting the soil's water balance

Land use on acid sulphate soils entails risks to the chemical and ecological status of watercourses. For environmental and economic reasons, future climate changes must also be considered in land use. With the help of risk mapping, areas with a high risk of acidification and metal emissions are identified. The goal is that water protection measures and risks connected with land use should be taken into account already in the planning stage.

– Åbo Akademi University and our project partners have extensive research experience of acid sulphate soils, including their effects on watercourses and environmental methods. In combination with Arcada's cutting-edge expertise in machine learning, together we can create added value from the extensive information that has been produced by geologists in Finland for a long time, says Peter Österholm, University Lecturer at Åbo Akademi University.

HaSuRiski, Happamien sulfaattimaiden riskikartoitus - keinoja vesistöjen happamuus- ja metallikuormituksen hallintaan ("Risk mapping of acid sulphate soils") is financed by the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environments’ support for sustainable water management in agriculture and forestry and by the K.H. Renlund Foundation. The Finnish Environment Institute coordinates the project, in which Arcada, the Geological Survey of Finland and Åbo Akademi University also participate. The main coordinator is project manager Ritva Nilivaara, E-mail: E-mail: ritva.nilivaara@syke.fi, 0295 252052. Read more about the project HaSuRiski in Finnish here. External link

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