Storm event and annual export of suspended sediment (SS) and particulate phosphorus (PP) was measured during three hydrological years (June 1993 to May 1996) in Gelbæk stream, a Danish lowland stream draining a 11.6 km2 arable catchment area. The contribution of subsurface drainage water, surface runoff and stream bank and bed erosion to catchment SS and PP losses was estimated using three different strategies: 1) Simultaneous and comparative monitoring of subsurface water. 2) A mass-balance and budget approach dividing the Gelbæk catchment into two sub-catchments. 3) Application of the fingerprinting technique to single storm events. Subsurface drainage water proved to be a significant SS and PP source. Subsurface drainage water from half of the catchment area accounted for 9.8–15% of the total annual SS loss from the Gelbæk catchment and 9.6–18.2% of the annual PP loss. The mass-balance and budget approach showed stream bank and bed erosion to be the major source of SS and PP in this channelized and highly managed lowland stream. These findings were consistent with the fact that the annual loss of SS and PP from an upper culverted stream sub-catchment was significantly lower than that estimated from a mass-balance for a lower sub-catchment with an open stream channel. Comparison of the tracer content (e.g. 137Cs) of SS collected during four storm events with that of topsoil and subsoil using a simple mixing model revealed subsoil to be a major source of SS.
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- Sediment and Phosphorus Export from a Lowland Catchment: Quantification of Sources
A. L. Laubel
- Springer Netherlands