Modelling phosphorus inputs from agricultural sources and urban areas in river basins

Author: Björn Tetzlaff, Harry Vereecken, Ralf Kunkel and Frank Wendland
Year of Publication: 2009
Published: Environmental Geology 57: 183-193

An area-differentiated model approach (MEPhos) for the quantification of mean annual P-inputs from point and diffuse sources is presented. The following pathways are considered: artificial drainage, wash-off, groundwater outflow, soil erosion, rainwater sewers, combined sewer overflows, municipal waste water treatment plants and industrial effluents. Two retention functions for rivers and reservoirs are included in order to model P-sinks within a river basin. This allows a complete record of P-loads in heterogeneous meso- and macroscale river basins and enables validation of modeling results with water quality data on a load basis. The model is applied to the River Ruhr basin (4,485 km²) in Germany, which includes contrasting natural conditions, land use patterns as well as population and industry densities. Based on validated modelling results sub-areas of high P-loads are localized and management options for the reduction of P-inputs to surface waters are proposed taking into account the site conditions of the sub-areas relevant for high P-inputs into surface waters.

Eutrophication, Diffuse sources, Point sources, p-modelling, Large river basins, River Ruhr

Tetzlaff, B., H. Vereecken, R. Kunkel, Wendland, F., 2009. Modelling phosphorus inputs from agricultural sources and urban areas in river basins. Environmental Geology 57: 183-193.