Overview of a simple model describing variation of dissolved organic carbon in an upland catchment

Elizabeth Weeks Boyer, George M. Hornberger, Kenneth E. Bencala, Diane McKnight

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

100 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hydrological mechanisms controlling the variation of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were investigated in the Deer Creek catchment located near Montezuma, CO. Patterns of DOC in streamflow suggested that increased flows through the upper soil horizon during snowmelt are responsible for flushing this DOC-enriched interstitial water to the streams. We examined possible hydrological mechanisms to explain the observed variability of DOC in Deer Creek by first simulating the hydrological response of the catchment using TOPMODEL and then routing the predicted flows through a simple model that accounted for temporal changes in DOC. Conceptually the DOC model can be taken to represent a terrestrial (soil) reservoir in which DOC builds up during low flow periods and is flushed out when infiltrating meltwaters cause the water table to rise into this "reservoir". Concentrations of DOC measured in the upper soil and in streamflow were compared to model simulations. The simulated DOC response provides a reasonable reproduction of the observed dynamics of DOC in the stream at Deer Creek.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalEcological Modelling
Volume86
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

Fingerprint

dissolved organic carbon
catchment
deer
streamflow
hydrological response
soil horizon
routing
snowmelt
flushing
meltwater
low flow
water table
porewater
soil

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecological Modeling

Cite this

Boyer, Elizabeth Weeks ; Hornberger, George M. ; Bencala, Kenneth E. ; McKnight, Diane. / Overview of a simple model describing variation of dissolved organic carbon in an upland catchment. In: Ecological Modelling. 1996 ; Vol. 86, No. 2-3. pp. 183-188.
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Boyer, EW, Hornberger, GM, Bencala, KE & McKnight, D 1996, 'Overview of a simple model describing variation of dissolved organic carbon in an upland catchment', Ecological Modelling, vol. 86, no. 2-3, pp. 183-188.

Overview of a simple model describing variation of dissolved organic carbon in an upland catchment. / Boyer, Elizabeth Weeks; Hornberger, George M.; Bencala, Kenneth E.; McKnight, Diane.

In: Ecological Modelling, Vol. 86, No. 2-3, 01.01.1996, p. 183-188.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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N2 - Hydrological mechanisms controlling the variation of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were investigated in the Deer Creek catchment located near Montezuma, CO. Patterns of DOC in streamflow suggested that increased flows through the upper soil horizon during snowmelt are responsible for flushing this DOC-enriched interstitial water to the streams. We examined possible hydrological mechanisms to explain the observed variability of DOC in Deer Creek by first simulating the hydrological response of the catchment using TOPMODEL and then routing the predicted flows through a simple model that accounted for temporal changes in DOC. Conceptually the DOC model can be taken to represent a terrestrial (soil) reservoir in which DOC builds up during low flow periods and is flushed out when infiltrating meltwaters cause the water table to rise into this "reservoir". Concentrations of DOC measured in the upper soil and in streamflow were compared to model simulations. The simulated DOC response provides a reasonable reproduction of the observed dynamics of DOC in the stream at Deer Creek.

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