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A novel modelling approach for spatial and temporal variations in nitrate concentrations in an N-impacted UK small upland river basin

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Publication details

JournalEnvironmental Pollution
DatePublished - Jul 2005
Issue number1
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)63-70
Original languageEnglish


Monthly data for 11 moorland streams displaying marked seasonality and spatial variation in nitrate concentrations have been used with readily available catchment characteristics to develop a method for predicting stream water nitrate concentrations throughout an upland river network in the Lake District, UK. Over a 12-month period, a simple asymmetric truncated cosine function of day number is used to describe seasonality effects on stream water nitrate concentrations. This is then adjusted to compensate for differences in seasonality effects with catchment elevation. Occurrence of greater proportions of steeper slopes (> 20 degrees-40 degrees) in individual catchments facilitated nitrate leaching, as did increased extent of occurrence of outcropping rocks. It is shown that the spatial and temporal variation in nitrate concentration through the river network studied may therefore be effectively represented by an equation which is a function of day number, % outcropping rock and % of catchment area with a > 20 degrees-40 degrees slope. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • cosine, nitrate, seasonality, slope, stream water, CATCHMENT, PERIOD

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