Special Issue "Current Trends in Catchment Biogeochemical and Hydrological Modelling"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Quality and Contamination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 August 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. José L. J. Ledesma
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Geography and Geoecology (IFGG), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Kaiserstraße 12, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Interests: catchment biogeochemistry; catchment hydrology; biogeochemical modeling; hydrological modelling; riparian zone; terrestrial–aquatic interface; water quality; forest management; climate scenarios; dominant source layer

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biogeochemical and hydrological models are widely used in catchment science to test hypotheses, to improve process understanding, and to project future conditions (e.g., under changes in climate or land cover) for water and landscape management. Model ‘success’ and development have been partially constrained by the quality and spatiotemporal coverage of the observational data they are meant to simulate. The current widespread implementation of in situ sensors to characterize water quality and quantity have dramatically increased the temporal resolution of our observations. This trend is enabling novel conceptual frameworks and rapid developments in our understanding of natural systems. However, how are catchment biogeochemical and hydrological models combining high frequency data with long-term time series to develop new conceptualizations of catchment function? What are the current trends in catchment biogeochemical and hydrological modelling?

In this Special Issue, we invite studies involving innovative aspects of biogeochemical and hydrological modeling at the catchment scale, from small headwaters to large water basins. We welcome studies reporting both model development and new model applications. Studies can be focused on water or solute transport, including commonly studied compounds such as carbon and nutrients, contaminants such as heavy metals, or emerging contaminants such as organic pollutants or microplastics; and might involve isotopic tracers, future scenarios, or uncertainty assessments. The study questions can be purely mechanistic or be integrated in an applied context, such as forest management, agriculture, or drinking water production.

Dr. José L. J. Ledesma
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Catchment biogeochemical modelling
  • Catchment hydrological modelling
  • In situ water quality sensors
  • High-frequency monitoring data
  • Isotopic tracers
  • Solute and water transport
  • Contaminant transport
  • Water management
  • Land use management
  • Climate change

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
A New, Catchment-Scale Integrated Water Quality Model of Phosphorus, Dissolved Oxygen, Biochemical Oxygen Demand and Phytoplankton: INCA-Phosphorus Ecology (PEco)
Water 2021, 13(5), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050723 - 07 Mar 2021
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Abstract
Process-based models are commonly used to design management strategies to reduce excessive algal growth and subsequent hypoxia. However, management targets typically focus on phosphorus control, under the assumption that successful nutrient reduction will solve hypoxia issues. Algal responses to nutrient drivers are not [...] Read more.
Process-based models are commonly used to design management strategies to reduce excessive algal growth and subsequent hypoxia. However, management targets typically focus on phosphorus control, under the assumption that successful nutrient reduction will solve hypoxia issues. Algal responses to nutrient drivers are not linear and depend on additional biotic and abiotic controls. In order to generate a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of nutrient control strategies, independent nutrient, dissolved oxygen (DO), temperature and algal models must be coupled, which can increase overall uncertainty. Here, we extend an existing process-based phosphorus model (INtegrated CAtchment model of Phosphorus dynamics) to include biological oxygen demand (BOD), dissolved oxygen (DO) and algal growth and decay (INCA-PEco). We applied the resultant model in two eutrophied mesoscale catchments with continental and maritime climates. We assessed effects of regional differences in climate and land use on parameter importance during calibration using a generalised sensitivity analysis. We successfully reproduced in-stream total phosphorus (TP), suspended sediment, DO, BOD and chlorophyll-a (chl-a) concentrations across a range of temporal scales, land uses and climate regimes. While INCA-PEco is highly parameterized, model uncertainty can be significantly reduced by focusing calibration and monitoring efforts on just 18 of those parameters. Specifically, calibration time could be optimized by focusing on hydrological parameters (base flow, Manning’s n and river depth). In locations with significant inputs of diffuse nutrients, e.g., in agricultural catchments, detailed data on crop growth and nutrient uptake rates are also important. The remaining parameters provide flexibility to the user, broaden model applicability, and maximize its functionality under a changing climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in Catchment Biogeochemical and Hydrological Modelling)
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Article
Framework to Study the Effects of Climate Change on Vulnerability of Ecosystems and Societies: Case Study of Nitrates in Drinking Water in Southern Finland
Water 2021, 13(4), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040472 - 11 Feb 2021
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Abstract
Climate change may alter the services ecosystems provide by changing ecosystem functioning. As ecosystems can also resist environmental perturbations, it is crucial to consider the different processes that influence resilience. Our case study considered increased NO3 concentration in drinking water due [...] Read more.
Climate change may alter the services ecosystems provide by changing ecosystem functioning. As ecosystems can also resist environmental perturbations, it is crucial to consider the different processes that influence resilience. Our case study considered increased NO3 concentration in drinking water due to the climate change. We analyzed changes in ecosystem services connected to water purification at a catchment scale in southern Finland. We combined climate change scenarios with process-based forest growth (PREBAS) and eco-hydrological (PERSiST and INCA) models. We improved traditional model calibration by timing of forest phenology and snow-covered period from network of cameras and satellite data. We upscaled the combined modelling results with scenarios of population growth to form vulnerability maps. The boreal ecosystems seemed to be strongly buffered against NO3- leaching by increase in evapotranspiration and vegetation NO3- uptake. Societal vulnerability varied greatly between scenarios and municipalities. The most vulnerable were agricultural areas on permeable soil types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in Catchment Biogeochemical and Hydrological Modelling)
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Article
Nutrient Load Mitigation with Wintertime Cover as Estimated by the INCA Model
Water 2021, 13(4), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040450 - 09 Feb 2021
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Abstract
Increased nutrient loading causes deterioration of receiving surface waters in areas of intensive agriculture. While nitrate and particulate phosphorus load can be efficiently controlled by reducing tillage frequency and increasing vegetation cover, many field studies have shown simultaneously increased loading of bioavailable phosphorus. [...] Read more.
Increased nutrient loading causes deterioration of receiving surface waters in areas of intensive agriculture. While nitrate and particulate phosphorus load can be efficiently controlled by reducing tillage frequency and increasing vegetation cover, many field studies have shown simultaneously increased loading of bioavailable phosphorus. In the latest phase of the Rural Programme of EU agri-environmental measures, the highest potential to reduce the nutrient loading to receiving waters were the maximum limits for fertilization of arable crops and retaining plant cover on fields with, e.g., no-till methods and uncultivated nature management fields. Due to the latter two measures, the area of vegetation cover has increased since 1995, suggesting clear effects on nutrient loading in the catchment scale as well. We modeled the effectiveness of agri-environmental measures to reduce phosphorus and nitrogen loads to waters and additionally tested the performance of the dynamic, process-based INCA-P (Integrated Nutrients in Catchments—Phosphorus) model to simulate P dynamics in an agricultural catchment. We concluded that INCA-P was able to simulate both fast (immediate) and slow (non-immediate) processes that influence P loading from catchments. Based on our model simulations, it was also evident that no-till methods had increased bioavailable P load to receiving waters, even though total P and total N loading were reduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in Catchment Biogeochemical and Hydrological Modelling)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1.Title: PERSiST 2.0: A rainfall runoff model for catchment science
Authors: Martyn Futter; Dan Butterfield; Jill Crossman; Janik Deutscher; Emma Lannergård; José Ledesma
Affiliation: Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Lennart Hjelms väg 9, Uppsala 750 07, Sweden
Abstract: Here, we present a new version of PERSiST, the Precipitation, Evapotranspiration and Runoff Simulator for Solute Transport. PERSiST is a catchment scale rainfall-runoff model suitable for hydrological simulations across a range of spatial and temporal scales. The new model retains a number of features of the original version including an ability to specify multiple stores of water in the terrestrial part of the catchment and to simulate the hydrological consequences of multiple land cover types. It can simulate river networks of arbitrary complexity ranging from simple lumped representations to highly branched systems. The new model operates at an arbitrary, user-specified timestep. This means the new model can be calibrated against the increasingly available high-frequency time series generated by in-situ sensors. Multi-site, multi-parameter calibrations using a range of objective functions including the Kling-Gupta Efficiency are supported. The model can be calibrated to one or more observed time series of any of the following: streamflow, stage height, soil moisture and soil temperature. Calibrating to streamflow supports the standard way of using rainfall runoff models. Calibrating to stage height facilitates the development of model applications, e.g., in situations where sensors have been deployed to measure water level but traditional stage:discharge relationships have not been calculated. By providing the possibility to calibrate to soil moisture and other internal time series, the model can be applied at sites where streamflow does not occur and can contribute to reducing equifinality in the parameter space. The representation of streamflow, evapotranspiration and infiltration processes have been updated to be more physically realistic. Estimates of streamflow velocity and channel geometry are now based on Manning’s equation. Potential evapotranspiration is estimated using a Jensen-Haise / McGuinness type model forced by air temperature and modelled extra-solar radiation. Infiltration is limited by soil moisture and temperature. Soil temperature is simulated in the new model primarily to provide a means of limiting infiltration into frozen soils. We demonstrate the capability of the new model by simulating stream flow, stage height and soil moisture at sites in Sweden and the Czech Republic.

2. Title: INCA-ON(THE): A new, semi-distributed, catchment-scale nitrogen model
Authors: Martyn Futter; Dan Butterfield; Katri Rankinen; Hjalmar Laudon; Ryan Sponseller
Affiliation: Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Lennart Hjelms väg 9, Uppsala 750 07, Sweden
Abstract: Here, we present the Integrated Catchments model for Organic Nitrogen (Terrestrial Hydrology Edition). This new model builds on and extends the INCA-N model for inorganic nitrogen. INCA-ON(THE) simulates all components of the water balance and supports complete nitrogen (N) mass-balances. Both instream and terrestrial N processes are simulated. Transformations between solid and dissolved organic nitrogen (ON) as well as transformations between inorganic N and ON are simulated; plant N uptake is explicitly linked to plant growth. The model can be calibrated against measurements of ammonia, nitrate, dissolved ON and streamflow made at one or more locations in a river network. We demonstrate the performance of the new model by applying it to two Nordic forested catchments: Krycklan in Sweden and Simojoki in Finland.

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