Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 36, pp 27799–27812 | Cite as

Characterizing spatiotemporal variations of chromophoric dissolved organic matter in headwater catchment of a key drinking water source in China

  • Yihan Chen
  • Kaifeng Yu
  • Yongqiang Zhou
  • Longfei Ren
  • George Kirumba
  • Bo Zhang
  • Yiliang HeEmail author
Research Article


Natural surface drinking water sources with the increasing chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) have profound influences on the aquatic environment and drinking water safety. Here, this study investigated the spatiotemporal variations of CDOM in Fengshuba Reservoir and its catchments in China. Twenty-four surface water samples, 45 water samples (including surface water, middle water, and bottom water), and 15 pore water samples were collected from rivers, reservoir, and sediment of the reservoir, respectively. Then, three fluorescent components, namely two humic-like components (C1 and C2) and a tryptophan-like component (C3), were identified from the excitation-emission matrix coupled with parallel factor analysis (EEM-PARAFAC) for all samples. For spatial distributions, the levels of CDOM and two humic-like components in the reservoir were significantly lower than those in the upstream rivers (p < 0.01), indicating that the reservoir may act as a reactor to partly reduce the levels of exogenous input including CDOM and humic-like matters from the surrounding catchment. For temporal variations, the mean levels of CDOM and three fluorescent components did not significantly change in rivers, suggesting that perennial anthropic activity maybe an important factor impacting the concentration and composition of river CDOM but not the precipitation and runoff. However, these mean values of CDOM for the bulk waters of the reservoir changed markedly along with seasonal variations, indicating that the hydrological processes in the reservoir could control the quality and quantity of CDOM. The different correlations between the fluorescent components and primary water parameters in the river, reservoir, and pore water samples further suggest that the reservoir is an important factor regulating the migration and transformation of FDOM along with the variations of different environmental gradients.


Drinking water sources Fengshuba Reservoir CDOM FDOM EEM-PARAFAC Hydrological processes 


Funding information

The authors are grateful for the financial support from the National Science and Technology Major Projects of Water Pollution Control and Management of China (2014ZX07206001) and to Singapore under its Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) programme (E2S2-CREATE project CS-B: Challenge of Emerging Contaminants on Environmental Sustainability in Megacities).

Supplementary material

11356_2017_307_MOESM1_ESM.docx (561 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 561 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yihan Chen
    • 1
  • Kaifeng Yu
    • 1
  • Yongqiang Zhou
    • 2
    • 3
  • Longfei Ren
    • 1
  • George Kirumba
    • 4
  • Bo Zhang
    • 1
  • Yiliang He
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Taihu Laboratory for Lake Ecosystem Research, State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and LimnologyChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Department of Civil and Construction EngineeringTechnical University of KenyaNairobiKenya

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