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Streamflow and hydrogen ion interrelationships identified using data-based mechanistic modelling of high frequency observations through contiguous storms.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Hydrology Research
Issue number6
Number of pages25
Pages (from-to)868-892
Early online date7/04/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English


With the aim of quantifying the purely hydrological control on fast water quality dynamics, a modelling approach was used to identify the structure (and dynamic response characteristics or DRCs) of the relationship between rainfall and hydrogen ion (H+) load, with reference to rainfall to streamflow response. Unlike most hydrochemistry studies, the method used makes no a priori assumptions about the complexity of the dynamics (e.g., number of flow-paths), but instead uses objective statistical methods to define these (together with uncertainty analysis). The robust models identified are based on continuous-time transfer functions and demonstrate high simulation efficiency with a constrained uncertainty allowing hydrological interpretation of dominant flow-paths and behaviour of H+ load in four upland headwaters. Identified models demonstrated that the short-term dynamics in H+ concentration were closely associated with the streamflow response, suggesting a dominant hydrological control. The second-order structure identified for the rainfall to streamflow response was also seen as the optimal models for rainfall to H+ load, even given the very dynamic concentration response, possibly indicating the same two flow-paths being responsible for both integrated responses.