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Improving Load Estimates for NO(3) and P in Surface Waters by Characterizing the Concentration Response to Rainfall Events
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2010 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 44, 6305-6312 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

For the evaluation of action programs to reduce surface water pollution, water authorities invest heavily in water quality monitoring. However, sampling frequencies are generally insufficient to capture the dynamical behavior of solute concentrations For this study, we used on-site equipment that performed semicontinuous (15 min interval) NO(3) and P concentration measurements from June 2007 to July 2008 We recorded the concentration responses to rainfall events with a wide range in antecedent conditions and rainfall durations and intensities. Through sequential linear multiple regression analysis, we successfully related the NO(3) and P event responses to high-frequency records of precipitation, discharge, and groundwater levels We applied the regression models to reconstruct concentration patterns between low-frequency water quality measurements. This new approach significantly improved load estimates from a 20% to a 1% bias for NO(3) and from a 63% to a 5% bias for P. These results demonstrate the value of commonly available precipitation, discharge, and groundwater level data for the interpretation of water quality measurements. Improving load estimates from low-frequency concentration data Just requires a period of high-frequency concentration measurements and a conceptual, statistical, or physical model for relating the rainfall event response of solute concentrations to quantitative hydrological changes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 44, 6305-6312 p.
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-69030DOI: 10.1021/es101252eOAI: diva2:474859
Available from: 2012-01-10 Created: 2012-01-09 Last updated: 2012-01-10

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