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Knowledge discovery from high-frequency stream nitrate concentrations: hydrology and biology contributions

Aubert, Alice H. ; Thrun, Michael C. ; Breuer, Lutz ; Ultsch, Alfred

Originalveröffentlichung: (2016) Scientific Reports 6:31536 doi: 10.1038/srep31536
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URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:26-opus-124650

Sammlung: Open Access - Publikationsfonds
Universität Justus-Liebig-Universit√§t Gie√üen
Institut: Institute for Landscape Ecology and Resources Management
Fachgebiet: IFZ Interdisziplin√§res Forschungszentrum f√ľr Umweltsicherung
DDC-Sachgruppe: Landwirtschaft
Dokumentart: Aufsatz
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2016
Publikationsdatum: 03.02.2017
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: High-frequency, in-situ monitoring provides large environmental datasets. These datasets will likely bring new insights in landscape functioning and process scale understanding. However, tailoring data analysis methods is necessary. Here, we detach our analysis from the usual temporal analysis performed in hydrology to determine if it is possible to infer general rules regarding hydrochemistry from available large datasets. We combined a 2-year in-stream nitrate concentration time series (time resolution of 15 min) with concurrent hydrological, meteorological and soil moisture data. We removed the low-frequency variations through low-pass filtering, which suppressed seasonality. We then analyzed the high-frequency variability component using Pareto Density Estimation, which to our knowledge has not been applied to hydrology. The resulting distribution of nitrate concentrations revealed three normally distributed modes: low, medium and high. Studying the environmental conditions for each mode revealed the main control of nitrate concentration: the saturation state of the riparian zone. We found low nitrate concentrations under conditions of hydrological connectivity and dominant denitrifying biological processes, and we found high nitrate concentrations under hydrological recession conditions and dominant nitrifying biological processes. These results generalize our understanding of hydro-biogeochemical nitrate flux controls and bring useful information to the development of nitrogen process-based models at the landscape scale.
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