Frank P McDermott

Frank P McDermott
University College Dublin | UCD · UCD School of Earth Sciences

PhD

About

188
Publications
43,213
Reads
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13,446
Citations
Citations since 2016
42 Research Items
5459 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
Additional affiliations
January 1998 - December 2012
University College Dublin
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (188)
Article
Full-text available
Untreated sludge from small-scale on-site domestic wastewater treatment systems (septic tanks) was spiked with 20, 60 and 100 nm silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) to investigate Ag-NP behaviour in these systems that are widely distributed in rural areas. In addition, the release of Ag-NPs from a previously spiked clay-rich loam reference soil (LUFA 2.4...
Article
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The cranium from Broken Hill (Kabwe) was recovered from cave deposits in 1921, during metal ore mining in what is now Zambia¹. It is one of the best-preserved skulls of a fossil hominin, and was initially designated as the type specimen of Homo rhodesiensis, but recently it has often been included in the taxon Homo heidelbergensis2,3,4. However, th...
Article
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Atmospheric circulation is a fundamental component of Earth's climate system, transporting energy poleward to partially offset the latitudinal imbalance in insolation. Changes in the latitudinal distribution of insolation thus force variations in atmospheric circulation, in turn altering regional hydroclimates. Here we demonstrate that regional hyd...
Article
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Despite the multiple impacts of mineral aerosols on global and regional climate and the primary climatic control on atmospheric dust fluxes, dust-climate feedbacks remain poorly constrained, particularly at submillennial time scales, hampering regional and global climate models. We reconstruct Saharan dust fluxes over Western Europe for the last 50...
Article
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An ensemble of high‐resolution regional climate model simulation data is used to examine the impacts of climate change on offshore and onshore wind energy generation in Ireland. Two Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios (RCP 4.5 and 8.5) are analysed for the mid‐term (2041–2060) and the long‐term (2081–2100) future. Wind energy is pr...
Article
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Uranium concentrations in groundwaters from >100 private wells in the Caledonian Leinster Granite Batholith of SE Ireland range from a few μg/l to >300 μg/l. Approximately 10% of the wells exhibit uranium concentrations that exceed the current WHO provisional guideline of 30 μg/l and a further 10% exceed the original WHO guideline value of 15 μg/l....
Article
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Attention should always be given to which reanalysis dataset to use when preparing analysis for a project. The accuracies of three reanalysis datasets, two global (ERA5 and MERRA-2) and one high-resolution regional reanalysis (MÉRA), are assessed by comparison with observations at seven weather observing stations around Ireland. Skill scores are ca...
Article
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Elevated arsenic concentrations (up to 19 μg L⁻¹) occur in private groundwater wells in fractured bedrock aquifers close to the contact between Silurian greywackes of the Longford-Down Terrane, and the Palaeogene Slieve Gullion and Carlingford igneous complexes in NE Ireland. Palaeogene basaltic intrusions intersected in two drill cores were found...
Article
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Lisheen Mine in County Tipperary, Ireland exploited an underground Pb/Zn massive sulphide deposit hosted in Carboniferous (Mississippian) carbonates. During the extraction phase, the mine workings (located at an average depth of 170 metres below ground level), were continuously pumped to lower the groundwater level. Following mine closure in 2015,...
Article
Active tectonics linked to the rise of the Hispaniola forearc explain the morphological characteristics, spatial distribution and U-Th geochronological ages of the uplifted coral reef terraces of the La Isabela Formation in both the eastern Cordillera Septentrional and the Samaná Peninsula of northeastern Dominican Republic. Depositional coral reef...
Article
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Mismanagement of drinking water supplies can pose serious public health risks. There are many concerns about water source management among private well owners, as they are often solely responsible for maintaining their wells, and monitoring and testing of their own water quality. Lack of worry about contamination and a strong sense of control over...
Article
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Increased use of solar photovoltaic electricity requires a better understanding of the impact of large‐scale atmospheric teleconnections on incident short wave (SW) solar radiation. Our focus is on the relationship between winter (December to February) SW radiation in northwest Europe and the dominant Euro‐Atlantic atmospheric teleconnection patter...
Article
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Several stalagmite records have yielded important but discontinuous insights into northern Iberian climate since the Last Glacial. Here we present the first continuous Iberian stalagmite-based reconstruction of climate since the Bølling-Allerød interstadial, from a single stalagmite sample (GAR-01 from La Garma Cave, Cantabria). The ~13.5 ka GAR-01...
Article
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Metagenomic analysis is a highly promising technique in paleogenetic research that allows analysis of the complete genomic make-up of a sample. This technique has successfully been employed to archaeological sediments, but possible leaching of DNA through the sequence limits interpretation. We applied this technique to the analysis of ancient DNA (...
Article
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Purpose This study assessed the efficacy of selected silicon-rich soil amendments in terms of their ability to provide dissolved silicon (Si) to soil solutions during a 15-month experiment. Materials and methods Four inorganic amendments (peat ash, coal ash, rice husk ash and ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS)) and one organic amendment (...
Article
In rural areas where no public or group water schemes exist, groundwater is often the only source of drinking water and is extracted by drilling private wells. Typically, private well owners are responsible for the quality and testing of their own drinking water. Previous studies indicate that well owners tend to underestimate the risks of their we...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Results from new field and laboratory experiments to investigate the use of crushed basalt as a CO2 sequestering soil amendment for removal of atmospheric CO2 will be presented. Unlike previous studies that envisage energy and carbon-intensive mining, crushing and transport of mafic or ultramafic rocks for accelerated silicate weathering, our focus...
Poster
Crushed basalt (waste ‘quarry dust’) can reduce atmospheric CO2 when applied to soils because: (a) Silicate weathering consumes protons from soil acids, releases Ca2+ and Mg2+ in soil solutions and runoff, increases pH and favours carbonate precipitation in the oceans (Hartman et al., 2013). (b) Basalt quarry dust can act as a soil fertilizer (e.g....
Article
The relationship between plant-available silicon (Si) soil concentrations and bark Si concentrations in coniferous species is poorly understood. The objectives of this research were to generate baseline data on Si concentrations in soils and bark of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) seedlings in Ireland and to understand better the relationship betwe...
Presentation
Full-text available
Arsenic (As) contamination of groundwater is now well documented across the globe. Geological environments similar to those in which high levels of dissolved As occur elsewhere are common in Ireland (e.g. sulphide-bearing volcanic & sedimentary units), yet reliable data at the µg/L level for As in groundwater are sparse. An improved understanding o...
Article
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Prolonged cold spells were experienced in Ireland in the winters of 2009–10 and 2010–11, and electricity demand was relatively high at these times, whilst wind generation capacity factors were low. Such situations can cause difficulties for an electricity system with a high dependence on wind energy. Studying the atmospheric conditions associated w...
Conference Paper
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Dissolved inorganic arsenic (As), with epidemiological associations to a variety of cancers, is an emerging concern in some Irish groundwaters. Notable exceedances of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Irish Drinking Water Regulations limit of 10 μg L-1 have been identified across the island. In Co. Louth, As is elevated (up to 60 μg L-1) in s...
Article
Alternative methods of protection are required against feeding by the large pine weevil (Hylobius abietis) on the bark of conifer seedlings. Silicon (Si) has been shown to enhance the resistance of plants to insect herbivores. This study investigated the effects of low doses of Si-rich soil amendments on growth, mortality and bark feeding damage of...
Poster
Uranium is a long-lived radionuclide typically present at the g/g g/g g/g g/g level in rocks and soils, and at the g/Lg/Lg/L level in natural waters. Uranium has three isotopes (234U, 235U and 238U), all of which decay by alpha and gamma emissions. Dissolved uranium in groundwater is a potential threat for human health (due to its chemical nephro...
Article
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The presence of excess 234U in seawater is a compelling argument for active delivery of solutes from the continents to the oceans. Previous studies found, however, that the complementary 234U deficit on the continents is surprisingly modest, which would require protracted U loss from a large continental weathering pool. Our new compilation and stat...
Article
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Speleothem δ18O records provide valuable information about past continental environmental and cli- matic conditions, although their interpretation is often not straightforward. Here we evaluate a compilation of late Holocene speleothem δ18O records using a Monte Carlo based Principal Component Analysis (MC-PCA) method that accounts for uncertaintie...
Article
The increasing deployment of variable renewables and parallel residential space heat electrification using heat pumps poses two significant challenges for electricity systems: First, coincidence of certain weather events can stress the power system due to the increasing weather-dependence on both supply and demand side; Secondly, increased net load...
Poster
Full-text available
The importance of faults, fractures and weathered ground in the mineralisation of Irish Carboniferous limestones is well understood. Frequently, these features now facilitate movement of groundwater and dissolved mass. In mined areas the inflows of water can be short-lived or can extend through the working life of the mine. This study is focused on...
Article
To study climate-related aspects of power system operation with large volumes of wind generation, data with sufficiently wide temporal and spatial scope are required. The relative youth of the wind industry means that long-term data from real systems are not available. Here, a detailed aggregated wind power generation model is developed for the Rep...
Article
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Winter (October to March) precipitation δ18OP and δ18DP values in central Europe correlate with the winter NAO index (wNAOi), but the causal mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we analyse the relationships between precipitation-weighted δ18OP and δ18DP datasets (δ18Opw and δ18Dpw) from European GNIP and ANIP stations and the wNAOi, with a foc...
Poster
Full-text available
Overview of distribution of uranium in Irish groundwaters
Poster
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The overall objective of this project is to investigate in detail for the first time the sources and/or sinks of As and other metals (e.g. Fe and Mn) which occur within the groundwater supplies in the Co. Louth area using a suite of microscopy and spectroscopy techniques on rock samples from the two main cores, Feede (200 m ) and Faughart (221 m) c...
Article
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The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is known to influence precipitation δ18O (δ18Op) through its control on air temperature and on the trajectory of the westerly winds that carry moisture onto Europe during boreal winters. Hence, paleoclimate studies seeking to reconstruct the NAO can exploit the δ18O signal that is commonly preserved in natural a...
Article
The 3-hourly gridded ERA-Interim climate reanalysis dataset, spanning 1979 to 2013, was used to investigate the spatial stationarity of the previously documented relationships between wind speeds and the NAO state in Europe. Over much of western Europe, wind speeds were found to be affected strongly by the concomitant states of the secondary and te...
Article
Ooids are sedimentary grains that are distributed widely in the geologic record. Their formation is still actively debated, which limits our understanding of the significance and meaning of these grains in Earth's history. Central questions include the role played by microbes in the formation of ooids and the sources of ubiquitous organic matter wi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Atmospheric drivers that compromise the assumed long-term stationarity between δ18O-based proxy records and NAO, winter air temperature and winter precipitation amount. The control exerted by large scale atmospheric circulation modes on the oxygen isotopic composition of precipitation (δ18Op) has been utilised to infer past atmospheric circulation...
Article
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An understanding of how seasonal and longer-term δ18O signals in meteoric precipitation (δ18Op) are modified by percolation through soils is essential to link temporal changes in speleothem δ18O to surface climatic conditions. This study focuses on modifications that occur in a relatively thick soil above a temperate cave site (La Garma, N. Spain)....
Conference Paper
Ooids are small, concentrically laminated carbonate grains, typically limited to shallow tropical coastal settings in modern environments (e.g. Bahamas, Persian Gulf). However, they are common in the geological record, particularly in the Precambrian[1] and after mass extinction events[2]. Despite their geological significance and much interest, co...
Article
Download for first 50 days free at this link: http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1Qlhz,Ig40bon Precisely-dated, high-resolution stable isotope and trace element data from a stalagmite from La Garma Cave, northern Spain, reveal several stages of distinct climatic variability along the northern Iberian Atlantic margin, and provide new constraints on the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The latitude of North Atlantic westerlies during the Younger Dryas (YD) is constrained using precisely-dated, high-resolution stable isotope and trace element data from a La Garma Cave stalagmite, Northern Spain. In situ laser techniques yield a biennial-scale isotope and subannual-scale trace element record of the YD providing crucial information...
Article
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Lophelia pertusa is a colonial cold-water coral species with a wide spatial distribution in recent marine waters. Analysing the chemistry of its skeleton allows reconstruction of environmental parameters. While numerous studies have attempted to interpret such analyses, little information is available on its microstructures and their temporal const...
Conference Paper
Previous pollen-based studies1,2 subdivide the Holocene climate in the western Mediterranean region into three intervals: a humid phase (12-7 ka BP), a transition phase (7-5.5 ka BP), and an aridification phase (5.5 ka BP until present) that represents the onset of Mediterranean climate. However, substantial chronological uncertainty is associated...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Speleothems are widely used as a proxy for decadal and multicentannial climate variability. Interpretations of seasonal climate patterns from terrestrial climate archives are rare, and stalagmites are able to provide this information through analysis of variability in seasonal growth fabrics that record seasonal distribution of rainfall [1]. Non-de...
Article
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Much of the twentieth century multidecadal variability in the relationship between North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and winter climate over the North Atlantic–European sector can be linked to the combined effects of the NAO and either the East Atlantic pattern (EA) or the Scandinavian pattern (SCA). Our study documents how different NAO–EA and NAO–...
Article
We examine mid- to late Holocene centennial-scale climate variability in Ireland using proxy data from peatlands, lakes and a speleothem. A high degree of between-record variability is apparent in the proxy data and significant chronological uncertainties are present. However, tephra layers provide a robust tool for correlation and improve the chro...
Article
Full-text available
The decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM) is temperature dependent, but its response to a future warmer climate remains equivocal. Enhanced rates of decomposition of SOM under increased global temperatures might cause higher CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, and could therefore constitute a strong positive feedback. The magnitude of this feedba...
Article
Full-text available
Much of the 20th century multi-decadal variability in the NAO-winter precipitation relationship over the N. Atlantic / European sector can be ascribed to the combined effects of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and either the East Atlantic pattern (EA) or the Scandinavian pattern (SCA). The NAO, EA and SCA indices employed here are defined as t...
Article
Full-text available
Speleothems can provide valuable archives of past environmental conditions on the continents. They can be dated precisely using U-Series disequilibria techniques, or in some cases by lamina counting. Oxygen isotope ratios in speleothem calcite are widely used to infer past climatic conditions. In general speleothem δ18O values are typically dominat...
Article
A 13-month long, daily-scale drip water dataset collected by an automatic water sampling device placed in a small cave in Ireland provides evidence for seasonal shifts in hydrochemistry, including a pulse of colloidally-associated elements in the late summer. Ca, Sr, Mg, Na, Ba, P, Cu, Zn, Rb, Y, Cs, U, Th, and Pb concentrations of the collected wa...
Article
Few terrestrial Holocene climate records exist from south-eastern Europe despite its important geographical position as a transitional climatic zone between the Mediterranean and mainland continental Europe. Here we present new petrographic and stable isotope data for two Holocene speleothems from Modrič Cave, Croatia (44°15′N, 15°32′E), a coastal...
Article
The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is defined as the normalized pressure difference between the Azores and Iceland, and is the most prominent mode of climate variability during boreal winter (December to March) over a large region of the Northern Hemisphere from eastern North America to Siberia, and from the Arctic to the subtropical Atlantic. Th...
Article
The decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM) is temperature dependant, but its response to a future warmer climate remains equivocal. Enhanced rates of decomposition of SOM under increased global temperatures might cause higher CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, and could constitute a strong positive feedback. The magnitude of this feedback however...
Presentation
Rapid climate change events (Dansgaard-Oeschger and Heinrich events) during the last glacial have been well documented in the Greenland ice cores (e.g. NGRIP), but their impact at lower latitudes is still not fully understood. In Ireland, few climate records older than the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) exist due to extensive glacial reworking. Excepti...
Article
Oxygen isotope data for well dated Holocene speleothems from Europe have been compiled for the first time. The data were analysed at 1ka time slices through the Holocene by taking averages of 50year duration. After filtering the data to exclude high altitude, high latitude and sites proximal to the Mediterranean Sea, the data exhibit surprisingly t...
Article
The coupled δ13C-radiocarbon systematics of three European stalagmites deposited during the Late Glacial and early Holocene were investigated to understand better how the carbon isotope systematics of speleothems respond to climate transitions. The emphasis is on understanding how speleothems may record climate-driven changes in the proportions of...