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Cooperative identification for critical periods and critical source areas of nonpoint source pollution in a typical watershed in China

  • Shuhe Ruan
  • Yanhua ZhuangEmail author
  • Song HongEmail author
  • Liang Zhang
  • Zhen Wang
  • Xianqiang Tang
  • Weijia Wen
Research Article

Abstract

Critical periods (CPs) and critical source areas (CSAs) refer to the high-risk periods and areas of nonpoint source (NPS) pollution in a watershed, respectively, and they play a significant role in NPS pollution control. The upstream Daning River Basin is a typical watershed in the Three Gorges Reservoir area. In this study, a Hydrological Simulation Program-Fortran (HSPF) model was used to simulate phosphorus loss in the upstream Daning River Basin. Co-analysis of critical periods and critical source areas (CACC) is a quantitative collaborative analysis method for the identification of CSAs in CPs, and it was used to classify the periods and areas of NPS pollution as CPs, sub-CPs, non-CPs, CSAs, and non-CSAs. The CPs occurred in months 5–7 and accounted for 53.7% of the total phosphorus (TP) loads, and the sub-CPs occurred in months 1, 3, 4, and 8 and accounted for 29.2% of the TP loads. In CSAs, 49.4% of the TP loads occurred in 26.8% of the basin. Furthermore, we proposed the following multilevel priority control measure for NPS pollution in the upstream Daning River Basin: CSAs in CPs (with load-area rate of 1.4), CSAs in sub-CPs (0.7), CSAs in non-CPs (0.4), non-CSAs in CPs (0.3), non-CSAs in sub-CPs (0.2), and non-CSAs in non-CPs (0.1). CSAs in CPs accounted for 25.8% of the TP loads from 19.0% of the areas in only 3 months while 49.4% of the TP loads from similar areas over an entire year. These findings indicated that the CSAs in CPs located in farmland along the Daning, Dongxi, and Houxi Rivers should be prioritized for pollution management measures.

Keywords

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution Critical periods (CPs) Critical source areas (CSAs) Hydrological Simulation Program-Fortran (HSPF) Load-time curve Load-area curve 

Notes

Funding information

This study was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences [grant number XDA23040403], the CRSRI Open Research Program of China [grant number CKWV2017531/KY], the Hubei Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China [grant numbers 2016CFA058], the Hubei Technological Innovation Special Fund of China [grant number 2018ACA148], and the Youth Innovation Promotion Association, CAS [grant number 2018370 and 2016304].

Conflict of interest

Compliance with ethical standards

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hubei Provincial Engineering Research Center of Non-point Source Pollution ControlInstitute of Geodesy and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of SciencesWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Resource and Environmental SciencesWuhan UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.College of Resources and EnvironmentHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Changjiang River Scientific ResearchInstitute of Changjiang Water Resources CommissionWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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