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Combining punctual and high frequency data for the spatiotemporal assessment of main geochemical processes and dissolved exports in an urban river catchment

Abstract : The assessment of dissolved loadings and the sources of these elements in urban catchments' rivers is usually measured by punctual sampling or through high frequency sensors. Nevertheless, the combination of both methodologies has been less common even though the information they give is complementary. Major ion (Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, Cl−, SO42−, and alkalinity), organic matter (expressed as Dissolved Organic Carbon, DOC), and nutrients (NO3−, and PO43−) are punctually measured in the Deba river urban catchment (538 km2), in the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula (draining to the Bay of Biscay). Discharge, precipitation, and Electrical Conductivity (EC) are registered with a high frequency (10 min) in three gauging stations. The combination of both methodologies has allowed the assessment of major geochemical processes and the extent of impact of anthropogenic input on major composition of riverine water, as well as its spatial and temporal evolution. Three methodologies for loading estimation have been assessed and the error committed in the temporal aggregation is quantified. Results have shown that, even though carbonates dominate the draining area, the water major ion chemistry is governed by an evaporitic spring in the upper part of the catchment, while anthropogenic input is specially noted downstream of three wastewater treatment plants, in all nutrients and organic matter. The results of the present work illustrate how the combination of two monitoring methodologies allows for a better assessment of the spatial and temporal evolution on the major water quality in an urban catchment.
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Juan-Luis Lechuga-Crespo, Estilita Ruiz-Romera, Jean-Luc Probst, Jessica Unda-Calvo, Zaira Carolina Cuervo-Fuentes, et al.. Combining punctual and high frequency data for the spatiotemporal assessment of main geochemical processes and dissolved exports in an urban river catchment. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2020, 727, pp.138644. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138644⟩. ⟨hal-02896448⟩

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