A simple approach to estimate daily loads of total, refractory, and labile organic carbon from their seasonal loads in a watershed


Loads of naturally occurring total organic carbons (TOC), refractory organic carbon (ROC), and labile organic carbon (LOC) in
streams control the availability of nutrients and the solubility and toxicity of contaminants and affect biological activities through
absorption of light and complex metals with production of carcinogenic compounds. Although computer models have become increasingly popular in understanding and management of TOC, ROC, and LOC loads in streams, the usefulness of these models hinges on the availability of daily data for model calibration and validation. Unfortunately, these daily data are usually insufficient and/or unavailable for most watersheds due to a variety of reasons, such as budget and time constraints. A simple approach was developed here to calculate daily loads of TOC, ROC, and LOC in streams based on their seasonal loads.We concluded that the predictions from our approach adequately match field measurements based on statistical comparisons between model calculations and field measurements. Our approach demonstrates that an increase in stream discharge results in increased stream TOC, ROC, and LOC concentrations and loads, although high peak discharge did not necessarily result in high peaks of TOC, ROC, and LOC concentrations and loads. The approach developed herein is a useful tool to convert seasonal loads of TOC, ROC, and LOC into daily loads in the absence of measured daily load data.

  • Citation: Ouyang, Ying; Grace, Johnny M.; Zipperer, Wayne C.; Hatten, Jeff; Dewey, Janet. 2018. A simple approach to estimate daily loads of total, refractory, and labile organic carbon from their seasonal loads in a watershed. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 72: 1272-. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-2301-y.

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