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Concentration-discharge relationships to understand the interplay between hydrological and biogeochemical processes: insights from data analysis and numerical experiments in headwater catchments

Abstract : Integration of hydrological and biogeochemical processes led to emerging patterns at the catchment scale. Monitoring in rivers reflects the aggregation of these effects. While discharge time series have been measured for decades, high frequency water quality monitoring in rivers now provides prominent measurements to characterize the interplay between hydrological and biogeochemical processes, especially to infer the processes that happen in the heterogeneous subsurface. However, we still lack frameworks to relate observed patterns to specific processes, because of the “organized complexity” of hydrological systems. Indeed, it is unclear what controls, for example, patterns in concentration-discharge (C/Q) relationships due to non-linear processes and hysteresis effects. Here we develop a non-intensive process-based model to test how the integration of different landforms (i.e. geological heterogeneities and structures, topographical features) with different biogeochemical reactivity assumptions (e.g. reactive zone locations) can shape the overall water quality time series. With numerical experiments, we investigate typical patterns in high frequency C/Q relationships. In headwater basins, we found that typical hysteretic patterns in C/Q relationships observed in data time series can be attributed to differences in water and solute locations stored across the hillslope. At the catchment scale though, these effects tend to average out by integrating contrasted hillslopes’ landforms. Together these results suggest that information contained in headwater water quality monitoring can be used to understand how hydrochemical processes determine downstream conditions.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-01734762
Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 8:57:45 AM
Last modification on : Monday, July 6, 2020 - 3:38:33 PM

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  • HAL Id : insu-01734762, version 1

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Jean-Raynald de Dreuzy, Jean Marçais, Florentina Moatar, Camille Minaudo, Quentin Courtois, et al.. Concentration-discharge relationships to understand the interplay between hydrological and biogeochemical processes: insights from data analysis and numerical experiments in headwater catchments. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2017, Dec 2017, New Orleans, United States. pp.H44A-05. ⟨insu-01734762⟩

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