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Selecting a calculation method to estimate sediment and nutrient loads in streams: Application to the Beaurivage River (Québec, Canada).

Quilbé, Renaud; Rousseau, Alain N.; Duchemin, Marc; Poulin, Annie; Gangbazo, Georges; Villeneuve, Jean-Pierre (2006). Selecting a calculation method to estimate sediment and nutrient loads in streams: Application to the Beaurivage River (Québec, Canada). Journal of Hydrology , vol. 326 , nº 1-4. p. 295-310. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2005.11.008.

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Résumé

Estimation of sediment and nutrient loads is of crucial interest for a good assessment of water pollution. This paper proposes an overview of existing estimation methods and a framework to select the most suited one given available streamflow and concentration data. Correlations between contaminant concentration and streamflow should first be checked to generate missing concentration values by regression. However, correlations are not always strong, in which case the ratio estimator method is more appropriate. Given a 6-year data set (1989–1995) from the Beaurivage River (Québec, Canada) with, at best, a weekly sampling, the ratio estimator method was selected to estimate annual and seasonal loads of sediments and nutrients (N and P). Results show relatively steady annual loads (on average 8.1 and 1.1 kg ha yr−1 for total dissolved N and total P, respectively) and a low erosion rate (0.23 t ha yr−1). The results also confirm that nutrient and sediment transport via runoff is essentially a springtime process in this region, and they indicate that dissolved P represents the bulk of the total P load, most likely due to artificial subsurface drainage systems in the watershed. These results are compared to the results obtained by using averaging methods and to several other sources of information from literature, confirming the order of magnitude but highlighting some remaining uncertainties. Finally, some research avenues are proposed to improve the proposed framework and to investigate other estimation methods adapted to data characteristics.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: water quality; load estimation; streamflow; sediment; phosphorus; nitrogen; Beaurivage River
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 08 janv. 2021 16:25
Dernière modification: 08 janv. 2021 16:25
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/10940

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