Watershed slope as a predictor of fluvial dissolved organic matter and nitrate concentrations across geographical space and catchment size in the Arctic

C. T. Connolly, M. S. Khosh, G. A. Burkart, T. A. Douglas, R. M. Holmes, A. D. Jacobson, S. E. Tank, J. W. McClelland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Understanding linkages between river chemistry and biological production in arctic coastal waters requires improved estimates of riverine nutrient export. Here we present the results of a synthesis effort focusing on relationships between watershed slope and seasonal concentrations of river-borne dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), and nitrate (NO3 -) around the pan-Arctic. Strong negative relationships exist between watershed slope and concentrations ofDOC andDONin arctic rivers. Spring and summer concentration-slope relationships forDOCandDON are qualitatively similar, although spring concentrations are higher. Relationships for NO3 -are more variable, but a significant positive relationship exists between summer NO3 -concentrations and watershed slopes. These results suggest that watershed slope can serve as a master variable for estimating spring and summerDOCandDONconcentrations, and to a lesser degree NO3 -, from drainage areas where field data are lacking, thus improving our ability to develop pan-arctic estimates of watershed nutrient export.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104015
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Volume13
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 9 2018

Keywords

  • Arctic
  • dissolved organic matter
  • inorganic nitrogen
  • rivers
  • watershed slope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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