Next Article in Journal
Simulation of Long-Term Soil Hydrological Conditions at Three Agricultural Experimental Field Plots Compared with Measurements
Previous Article in Journal
A Quantitative Flood-Related Building Damage Evaluation Method Using Airborne LiDAR Data and 2-D Hydraulic Model
Open AccessArticle

Response of Water Chemistry to Long-Term Human Activities in the Nested Catchments System of Subtropical Northeast India

Department of Geoenvironmental Research, Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, Polish Academy of Sciences, Jana 22, 31-018 Kraków, Poland
Department of Geography, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, Meghalaya 793022, India
Department of Environment Protection and Modelling, Jan Kochanowski University, Świętokrzyska 15, 25-406 Kielce, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(5), 988;
Received: 25 April 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Ecosystems)
The subtropics within the monsoonal range are distinguished by intensive human activity, which affects stream water chemistry. This paper aims to determine spatio-temporal variations and flowpaths of stream water chemical elements in a long-term anthropogenically-modified landscape, as well as to verify whether the water chemistry of a subtropical elevated shield has distinct features compared to other headwater areas in the tropics. It was hypothesized that small catchments with homogenous environmental conditions could assist in investigating the changes in ions and trace metals in various populations and land uses. Numerous physico-chemical parameters were measured, including temperature, pH, electrical conductivity (EC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), major ions, and trace metals. Chemical element concentrations were found to be low, with a total dissolved load (TDS) below 52 mg L−1. Statistical tests indicated an increase with significant differences in the chemical element concentration between sites and seasons along with increases of anthropogenic impact. Human influence was clearly visible in the case of cations (Ca2+, K+, Mg2+, Na+) and anions (Cl, HCO3, NO3, SO42−), compared to trace metals. The order of most abundant metals Fe > Zn > Al > Sr was the same in springs and streams, regardless of population density, land use, and season. Principal component analysis (PCA) demonstrated that major ion concentrations in stream water followed the pattern forest < cultivated land < grassland < built-up area. Surface water chemistry of the subtropical elevated shield has mixed features of tropical and temperate zones. Low concentrations of chemical elements; small seasonal differences in headwater streams; and increased concentrations of NO3, SO42−, DOC, and Zn in the wet monsoon season are similar to those observed in the tropics. The role of long-term cultivation without chemical fertilizers in ions supply to streams is less than in other headwater areas of the tropical zone. Strong control of water chemistry in densely populated built-up areas is analogous to both tropical and temperate regions. Population density or a built-up area may be used as a proxy for the reconstruction or prediction of the anthropogenic impact on stream water chemistry in similar subtropical elevated shields. View Full-Text
Keywords: anthropogenic impact; subtropics; small catchment; land use; population anthropogenic impact; subtropics; small catchment; land use; population
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Prokop, P.; Wiejaczka, Ł.; Syiemlieh, H.J.; Kozłowski, R. Response of Water Chemistry to Long-Term Human Activities in the Nested Catchments System of Subtropical Northeast India. Water 2019, 11, 988.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Back to TopTop