Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Water Quality Assessments and Driving Factors Analysis in a Typical Headwater Catchment, Southeast China

Version 1 : Received: 26 December 2019 / Approved: 27 December 2019 / Online: 27 December 2019 (10:30:07 CET)

How to cite: Zhao, K.; Wu, H.; Chen, W.; Sun, W.; Zhang, H.; Duan, W.; He, B. Water Quality Assessments and Driving Factors Analysis in a Typical Headwater Catchment, Southeast China. Preprints 2019, 2019120362 Zhao, K.; Wu, H.; Chen, W.; Sun, W.; Zhang, H.; Duan, W.; He, B. Water Quality Assessments and Driving Factors Analysis in a Typical Headwater Catchment, Southeast China. Preprints 2019, 2019120362

Abstract

Safety of source water streams is an urgent environmental issue, while protections in monsoon controlled subtropical regions face difficulties because of the lack of small scaled observation and analysis in small source water catchments. Basing on continuous weekly water quality data (2014-2017) in Pingqiao River Catchment, the annual average values of TN, NO3, NH4 and TP are 3.36, 1.64, 0.28 and 0.02 (mg/L) respectively. During dry, normal and wet seasons, the variability of parameters is over 35%, which indicates an obvious seasonality. Multiple methods are combined in order to assess the water quality and find the driving factors during dry, normal and wet seasons. This study suggests precipitation and fertilization are the mainly seasonal factors, which can make water quality better in wet season than dry season due to the dilution effect. The mechanism between seasonality and compound of nutrients can also be traced by log(TN:TP), and log(NO3:NH4). Among six main land use types (forest, tea plantation, cropland (paddy), urban, bare soil and water), the former three ones are influential mostly during dry and wet season. Tea plantation has the largest nutrients discharge amount per area, which is similar to cropland in dry season. By contrary, forest has the double power in reducing nitrogen release in wet and normal seasons. When transformed into paddies, croplands can lower the phosphorus concentration. Conclusions of this study can be used in southeastern China and similar regions on source water protection and agricultural plans.

Subject Areas

headwater catchment; water quality assessment; driving factors; spatial and temporal analysis; Southeast China

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