Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Waterborne spreading of pollutants through hydrological catchments: a general approach to its quantification
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology (INK).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology (INK).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology (INK).
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In order to protect water resources from contamination, it is necessary to assess the waterborne spreading of contaminants, both from all existing sources of pollution and from potential new sources (as a consequence of, for example, management changes and accidents or incidents that lead to discharge of pollutants). In this paper we adopt an approach that has previously been mostly used to quantify solute transport in soil and groundwater systems. Here, we develop the approach and apply it at the catchment scale for the estimation of waterborne contaminant spreading and the related risk for contamination of sensitive water environments within and downstream from a catchment area.

The proposed approach consists of two calculation steps: (1) calculation and mapping of travel times and travel time distributions for flowing water, and waterborne non-reactive substances that directly follow the movement of the water, from identified or potential sources of pollution to sensitive downstream waters, and (2) the previously estimated travel time distributions are used for calculation and mapping of the transport of specific reactive pollutants with the water, and of the related risks for contamination of sensitive water environments.

In the two calculation steps, random variability of transport properties and processes is represented statistically, while a scenario analysis is used to account for uncertainty about present or future conditions that cannot be quantified in statistical terms (e.g. uncertainties related to the characterisation of the sources of pollution, the water flow, and the transport of substances with the water). Through this approach one can relatively easily assess how large the uncertainties are, and identify those intervals of transport conditions and substance-specific mass attenuation properties for which the uncertainties are of great practical significance for water management in a catchment area, as well as the remaining intervals for which they are not of such significance. In cases where the uncertainties are found to be of minor importance from a management point of view, the scenario analysis provides a relatively robust basis on which to make decisions concerning, for example, urban planning, emergency preparedness and the appropriate measures to reduce the spreading of contaminants. Also, by clearly identifying the cases for which the uncertainties are of great practical significance, one obtains a rational basis on which to assess the value of further investigations in order to reduce the uncertainties.

National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-63420OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-63420DiVA: diva2:448817
Available from: 2011-10-20 Created: 2011-10-18 Last updated: 2011-10-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Quantifying pollutant spreading and the risk of water pollution in hydrological catchments: A solute travel time-based scenario approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quantifying pollutant spreading and the risk of water pollution in hydrological catchments: A solute travel time-based scenario approach
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The research presented in the thesis develops an approach for the estimation and mapping of pollutant spreading in catchments and the associated uncertainty and risk of pollution. The first step in the approach is the quantification and mapping of statistical and geographical distributions of advective solute travel times from pollutant input locations to downstream recipients. In the second step the travel time distributions are used to quantify and map the spreading of specific pollutants and the related risk of water pollution. In both steps, random variability of transport properties and processes is accounted for within a probabilistic framework, while different scenarios are used to account for statistically unquantifiable uncertainty about system characteristics, processes and future developments. This scenario approach enables a transparent analysis of uncertainty effects that is relatively easy to interpret. It also helps identify conservative assumptions and pollutant situations for which further investigations are most needed in order to reduce the uncertainty. The results for different investigated scenarios can further be used to assess the total risk to exceed given water quality standards downstream of pollutant sources.

Specific thesis results show that underestimation of pollutant transport variability, and in particular of those transport pathways with much shorter than average travel times, may lead to substantial underestimation of pollutant spreading in catchment areas. By contrast, variations in pollutant attenuation rate generally lead to lower estimated spreading than do constant attenuation conditions. A scenario of constant attenuation rate and high travel time variability, with a large fraction of relatively short travel times, therefore appears to be a reasonable conservative scenario to use when information is lacking for more precise determination of actual transport and attenuation conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, 2011. 35 p.
Series
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, ISSN 1653-7211 ; 28
Keyword
water pollution, catchment, pollution risk, scenario analysis, uncertainty
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-63465 (URN)978-91-7447-207-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-11-21, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-10-30 Created: 2011-10-19 Last updated: 2011-11-15Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(9833 kB)369 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT02.pdfFile size 9833 kBChecksum SHA-512
c54fc372cb50f51029e4558e3329fe3b21e25092c0a20bdf9376c4cf46c9b697da997095f5a59c768e6c838d7d1256e20e1b848da018509604c5b75b38a188c2
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Persson, KlasJarsjö, JerkerDestouni, Georgia
By organisation
Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology (INK)
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 369 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

urn-nbn

Altmetric score

urn-nbn
Total: 99 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf