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Nitrogen source apportionment - a comparison between a dynamic and a statistical model
SMHI, Research Department, Hydrology.
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1999 (English)In: Ecological Modelling, ISSN 0304-3800, E-ISSN 1872-7026, Vol. 114, no 2-3, 235-250 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A dynamic model, HBV-N, and a statistical model, MESAW, for nitrogen source apportionment were compared regarding model performance, model uncertainty and user applicability. The HBV-N model simulates continuous series of nitrogen concentrations with meteorological data and sub-basin characteristics as input. Diffuse nitrogen emissions are defined as regional model parameters which are calibrated by comparison of observed and simulated nitrogen data. The MESAW model uses nitrogen loads for a fixed time interval at each monitoring site as response variable and sub-basin characteristics as explanatory variables to estimate diffuse nitrogen emissions through non-linear regression analysis. The two models were applied in the Matsalu Bay watershed (3640 km(2)) in Estonia and the same land use and point sources data were used as input. Both models gave similar levels of diffuse total nitrogen emissions and retention rates, which also fit well with previous estimates made in Estonia and Scandinavia. A sensitivity analysis of the model parameters also showed similar uncertainty levels, which indicated that the model uncertainty was more dependent on the availability of nitrogen data and land cover distribution than the choice of model. Furthermore, the sensitivity analysis showed a parameter interdependency in both models, which implied the risk of compensation between estimated diffuse emissions and retention. In conclusion, however, the study showed that both models were capable of estimating nitrogen leakage from the dominating land classes and giving reliable source apportionment from the available input data. The study indicated that the HBV-N model has its advantage in assessments where detailed outputs are needed and when run-off data are limited, while the statistical MESAW model has its advantage in extensive studies since it is easily applied to large watersheds that have dense monitoring networks. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1999. Vol. 114, no 2-3, 235-250 p.
Keyword [en]
nitrogen source apportionment, modelling, water management
National Category
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Research subject
Meteorology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:smhi:diva-1541DOI: 10.1016/S0304-3800(98)00146-XISI: 000078565400006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:smhi-1541DiVA: diva2:851275
Available from: 2015-09-04 Created: 2015-08-31 Last updated: 2016-01-25Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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