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Physical process effects on catchment-scale pollutant transport-attenuation, coastal loading and abatement efficiency
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Pollutants follow various subsurface and surface water pathways from sources within a catchment to its outlet and may cause detrimental effects on downstream water quality and ecosystems. Along their different transport pathways through a catchment, pollutants may be attenuated subject to different physical and biogeochemical processes. In this thesis, physical process effects on such catchment-scale pollutant transport and attenuation, resulting coastal pollutant loading and its efficient abatement are investigated. For this purpose, pollutant transport-attenuation is modeled both generically using a Lagrangian Stochastic Advective-Reactive (LaSAR) approach and site specifically for the Swedish Norrström basin using the GIS-based dynamic nitrogen transport-attenuation model POLFLOW. Furthermore, the role of such modeling for catchment-scale pollutant abatement is also investigated by use of economic optimization modeling.

Results indicate that appropriate characterization of catchment-scale solute transport and attenuation processes requires accurate quantification of the specific solute pathways from different sources in a catchment, through the subsurface and surface water systems of the catchment, to the catchment outlet. The various physical processes that act on solute transported along these pathways may be quantified appropriately by use of relevant solute travel time distributions for each water subsystem that the pathways cross through the catchment. Such distributions capture the physical solute travel time variability from source to catchment outlet and its effects on reactive pollutant transport. Results of this thesis show specifically that neglect of such physical solute travel time variability in large-scale models of nitrogen transport and attenuation in catchments may yield misleading model estimates of nitrogen attenuation rates.

Results for nitrogen abatement optimization in catchments further indicate that inefficient solutions for coastal nitrogen load reduction may result from simplifying physical transport assumptions made in different catchment-scale nitrogen transport-attenuation models. Modeling of possible future nitrogen management scenarios show also that slow nitrogen transport and reversible mass transfer processes in the subsurface water systems of catchments may greatly delay and temporally redistribute coastal nitrogen load effects of inland nitrogen source abatement over decades or much longer. Achievement of the national Swedish environmental objective to reduce the anthropogenic coastal nitrogen loading by 30% may therefore require up to a 40% reduction of both point sources, for achieving a fast coastal load response, and diffuse sources, for maintaining the coastal load reduction also in the long term.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2006. , 1x, 25 p.
Series
Trita-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 1028
Keyword [en]
Efficient pollutant load abatement, groundwater-surface water interactions, biogeochemical cycles, nitrogen, Lagrangian stochastic travel time approach, GIS
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3900ISBN: 91-7178-315-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-3900DiVA: diva2:9942
Public defence
2006-04-21, D3, Lindstedtsv 5, Kungl tekniska högskolan, Stockholm, Sverige, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100908Available from: 2006-04-05 Created: 2006-04-05 Last updated: 2010-09-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Solute transport through the integrated groundwater-stream system of a catchment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Solute transport through the integrated groundwater-stream system of a catchment
2004 (English)In: Water resources research, ISSN 0043-1397, E-ISSN 1944-7973, Vol. 40, no 3, W03511- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present a coupled groundwater-stream model of catchment-scale solute transport, using a Lagrangian stochastic advective-sorptive travel time approach. We consider distributed solute input over an entire catchment and investigate the resulting stream solute breakthrough, subject to the possible solute spreading mechanisms: (1) variable groundwater advection and solute mass transfer between mobile and immobile groundwater zones and (2) in-stream advection, mixing, and solute mass transfer between stream water and hyporheic zone. Among these mechanisms we show that fractal solute spreading over a wide timescale range is, for realistic parameter values, obtained in the stream only for the condition combination of both variable solute advection and solute mass transfer in the groundwater, with mean groundwater advection to mass transfer rate ratio that falls within a certain value range and with only a small fraction of solute input mass following fast overland and/or storm soil water flow to the stream

Keyword
groundwater transport, mass transfer processes, residence time distributions, stream transport, watershed
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-5538 (URN)10.1029/2003WR002765 (DOI)000220442300003 ()2-s2.0-2042452450 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100907Available from: 2006-04-05 Created: 2006-04-05 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved
2. Nitrogen loss rates in streams: Scale-dependence and up-scaling methodology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Nitrogen loss rates in streams: Scale-dependence and up-scaling methodology
2004 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 31, no 13, L13501- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We show that the large spatial aggregation of model parameters in common catchment scale nitrogen budget modeling leads to artifacts that may, for instance, be a factor in explaining reported decreases of calibrated instream nitrogen loss rates, lambda(s)(*), with increasing stream size. In general, the common assumption of a single representative solute travel time for an entire stream reach may lead to considerable underestimation of the actual underlying local biogeochemical loss rate lambda(s) by lambda(s)(*), which increases with actual lambda(s) value and/ or increasing mean solute travel time and travel time variability in the stream. We propose an up-scaling methodology to overcome such model artifacts, in form of closed-form expressions of catchment-scale, in-stream nitrogen delivery factors for diffuse and point sources, as functions of local-scale nitrogen loss rates, lambda(s).

Keyword
sorptive solute, mass arrival, transport, eutrophication, groundwater, watersheds, catchments, retention, marine
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-5539 (URN)10.1029/2004GL019996 (DOI)000222654100003 ()2-s2.0-4544280420 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100907Available from: 2006-04-05 Created: 2006-04-05 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved
3. Effects of neglecting travel time variability on modeled nitrogen attenuation rates in streams
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of neglecting travel time variability on modeled nitrogen attenuation rates in streams
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
National Category
Water Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-5540 (URN)
Note
QC 20100908Available from: 2006-04-05 Created: 2006-04-05 Last updated: 2010-09-08Bibliographically approved
4. Effects of Inland Nitrogen Transport and Attenuation Modeling on Coastal Nitrogen Load Abatement
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of Inland Nitrogen Transport and Attenuation Modeling on Coastal Nitrogen Load Abatement
2006 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 40, 6208-6214 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Modeling of the spatial distribution of nitrogen transport and attenuation from various inland sources and along different hydrological pathways to coastal waters is needed for relevant decisions on effective allocation of measures for coastal nitrogen load abatement. We identify, classify, and quantify uncertainties associated with main discrepancies between spatial process representations in different catchment-scale nitrogen transport-attenuation models. The results show important model differences, indicating scientific disagreement on the realistic spatial process understanding, representation, and quantification in nitrogen transport-attenuation modeling. By further developing solutions for economic optimization of spatially differentiated nitrogen source abatement in coastal catchments, we find this disagreement to considerably affect the economic efficiency of coastal nitrogen load reduction. It may also lead to stakeholder mistrust and conflict and needs to be recognized and handled in environmental policy.

Keyword
water-pollution, baltic sea, management, eutrophication, impacts, land
National Category
Water Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-5541 (URN)10.1021/es060025j (DOI)000241192600009 ()2-s2.0-33750313996 (Scopus ID)
Note

Uppdaterad från manuskript till artikel: 20100908 Tidigare titel: Effects of nitrogen transport-attenuation modeling on the efficiency of coastal nitrogen load abatement QC 20100908

Available from: 2006-04-05 Created: 2006-04-05 Last updated: 2017-06-09Bibliographically approved
5. The dynamics of coastal load responses to inland nitrogen source abatement
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The dynamics of coastal load responses to inland nitrogen source abatement
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
National Category
Water Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-5542 (URN)
Note
QC 20100908Available from: 2006-04-05 Created: 2006-04-05 Last updated: 2010-09-08Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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