Parsimonious Model for Simulating Total Mercury and Methylmercury in Boreal Streams Based on Riparian Flow Paths and Seasonality

Karin Eklöf, Andrea Kraus, Martyn Futter, Jakob Schelker, Markus Meili, Elizabeth Weeks Boyer, Kevin Bishop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The complexity of mercury (Hg) biogeochemistry has made it difficult to model surface water concentrations of both total Hg (THg) and especially methylmercury (MeHg), the species of Hg having the highest potential for bioaccumulation. To simulate THg and MeHg variation in low-order streams, we have adapted a conceptual modeling framework where a continuum of lateral flows through riparian soils determines streamflow concentrations. The model was applied to seven forest catchments located in two boreal regions in Sweden spanning a range of climatic, soil, and forest management conditions. Discharge, and simulated riparian soil water concentrations profiles, represented by two calibrated parameters, were able to explain much of the variability of THg and MeHg concentrations in the streams issuing from the catchments (Nash Sutcliffe (NS) up to 0.54 for THg and 0.58 for MeHg). Model performance for all catchments was improved (NS up to 0.76 for THg and 0.85 for MeHg) by adding two to four parameters to represent seasonality in riparian soil water THg and MeHg concentrations profiles. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that riparian flow-pathways and seasonality in riparian soil concentrations are the major controls on temporal variation of THg and MeHg concentrations in low-order streams. (Graph Presented).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7851-7859
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume49
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 7 2015

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methylmercury
Mercury
seasonality
catchment
Soils
Catchments
soil water
soil management
biogeochemistry
bioaccumulation
Biogeochemistry
forest management
streamflow
temporal variation
soil
Bioaccumulation
Water
Forestry
surface water
Surface waters

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

Eklöf, Karin ; Kraus, Andrea ; Futter, Martyn ; Schelker, Jakob ; Meili, Markus ; Boyer, Elizabeth Weeks ; Bishop, Kevin. / Parsimonious Model for Simulating Total Mercury and Methylmercury in Boreal Streams Based on Riparian Flow Paths and Seasonality. In: Environmental Science and Technology. 2015 ; Vol. 49, No. 13. pp. 7851-7859.
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Parsimonious Model for Simulating Total Mercury and Methylmercury in Boreal Streams Based on Riparian Flow Paths and Seasonality. / Eklöf, Karin; Kraus, Andrea; Futter, Martyn; Schelker, Jakob; Meili, Markus; Boyer, Elizabeth Weeks; Bishop, Kevin.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 49, No. 13, 07.07.2015, p. 7851-7859.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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