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Water 2017, 9(9), 712; doi:10.3390/w9090712

Incorporating Rainfall-Runoff Events into Nitrate-Nitrogen and Phosphorus Load Assessments for Small Tile-Drained Catchments

Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation, Prague; Zabovreska 250, 156 27 Praha-Zbraslav, Czech Republic
Prague, Čílova 277/13, 162 00 Praha 6-Veleslavín, Czech Republic
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 June 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 16 September 2017
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Rainfall-runoff events significantly influence water runoff and the loss of pollutants from tile-drained agricultural land. We monitored ten small (4 to 38 ha) tile-drained catchments in Czechia for three to five years (2012 to 2016). The discharge was measured continuously; a regular 14-day scheme of water quality monitoring was accompanied with event sampling provided by automatic samplers in 20 to 120 min intervals. A new semi-automated algorithm was developed for the identification of runoff events (RE) based on discharge and water temperature changes. We then quantified the share of RE on the total runoff and the N and P losses, and we compared six methods for nutrient load estimation on an annual and monthly basis. The results showed considerable differences among the monitored sites, seasons, and applied methods. The share of RE on N loads was on average 5% to 30% of the total annual load, whereas for P (dissolved and total), the share of RE was on average 10% to 80% on the total annual load. The most precise method for nutrient load estimation included the RE. The methods based on point monitoring of the discharge and water quality underestimated the loads of N by 10% to 20% and of P by 30% to 80%. The acquired findings are crucial for the improvement of nutrient load assessment in tile-drained catchments, as well as for the design of various mitigation measures on tile-drained agricultural land. View Full-Text
Keywords: runoff events; tile drainage; load assessment methods; nitrate; phosphorus runoff events; tile drainage; load assessment methods; nitrate; phosphorus

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Fučík, P.; Zajíček, A.; Kaplická, M.; Duffková, R.; Peterková, J.; Maxová, J.; Takáčová, Š. Incorporating Rainfall-Runoff Events into Nitrate-Nitrogen and Phosphorus Load Assessments for Small Tile-Drained Catchments. Water 2017, 9, 712.

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