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A simple-model of stream nitrate concentrations in forested and deforested catchments in mid-Wales

Sloan, W., Jenkins, A., and Eatherall, A. (1994) A simple-model of stream nitrate concentrations in forested and deforested catchments in mid-Wales. Journal of Hydrology, 158 (1-2). pp. 61-78. ISSN 0022-1694 (doi:10.1016/0022-1694(94)90046-9 )

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Abstract

A model is developed specifically for simulating the nitrate concentrations in a stream at approximately weekly intervals in an upland forested and a moorland catchment. It is constructed on the basis of observed nitrate concentrations in rain water and in two streams, the Hafren and the Hore, at Plynlimon, Mid-Wales, where long data records exist. The Hore catchment has recently undergone extensive deforestation.

A simple regression model relating temperature to stream nitrate concentrations was capable of simulating the seasonal fluctuations in nitrate concentration observed in the Hafren. However, this ignores the influx of nitrate through wet deposition and is incapable of simulating land-use change. The regression model was developed into a simple dynamic model which includes a deposition term and a biomass indicator. The extended Kalman filter algorithm was used to estimate the optimum values of the parameters and to assess the model structure. The model was applied to both catchments, and the fit between observed and simulated nitrate concentrations at the Hafren was good. At the Hore, the model was able to capture the major changes in nitrate concentration through the deforestation and replanting phases although detailed short-term dynamics were not well represented. Finally, the model is related, speculatively, to processes which are known to occur in most catchments. This simple model is intended as a step towards the development of similar but more comprehensive catchment models of stream nitrogen dynamics.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s):Sloan, Prof William
Authors: Sloan, W., Jenkins, A., and Eatherall, A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Infrastructure and Environment
Journal Name:Journal of Hydrology
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-1694
Published Online:27 March 2003

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