Conceptual mini-catchment typologies for testing dominant controls of nutrient dynamics in three Nordic countries

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  • Fatemeh Hashemi
  • Ina Pohle, The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH,Scotland , United Kingdom
  • Johannes Wilhelmus Maria Pullens
  • Henrik Tornbjerg
  • Katarina Kyllmar, Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet, Denmark
  • Hannu Marttila, Olulu University, Finland
  • Ahti Lepistö, Finnish Environment Institute, Finland
  • Bjørn Kløve, Olulu University
  • ,
  • Martyn N. Futter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • ,
  • Brian Kronvang

Optimal nutrient pollution monitoring and management in catchments requires an in-depth understanding of spatial and temporal factors controlling nutrient dynamics. Such an understanding can potentially be obtained by analysing stream concentration-discharge (C-Q) relationships for hysteresis behaviours and export regimes. Here, a classification scheme including nine different C-Q types was applied to a total of 87 Nordic streams draining mini-catchments (0.1-65 km2). The classification applied is based on a combination of stream export behaviour (dilution, constant, enrichment) and hysteresis rotational pattern (clock-wise, no rotation, anti-clockwise). The scheme has been applied to an 8-year data series (2010-2017) from small streams in Denmark, Sweden, and Finland on daily discharge and discrete nutrient concentrations, including nitrate (NO3-), total organic N (TON), dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP), and particulate phosphorus (PP). The dominant nutrient export regimes were enrichment for NO3- and constant for TON, DRP, and PP. Nutrient hysteresis patterns were primarily clockwise or no hysteresis. Similarities in types of C-Q relationships were investigated using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) considering effects of catchment size, land use, climate, and dominant soil type. The PCA analysis revealed that land use and air temperature were the dominant factors controlling nutrient C-Q types. Therefore, the nutrient export behaviour in streams draining Nordic mini-catchments seems to be dominantly controlled by their land use characteristics and, to a lesser extent, their climate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1776
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

    Research areas

  • Concentration-discharge relationship, Export behaviour, Hysteresis, PCA, Water quality

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