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Sensitivity analysis for the total nitrogen pollution of the Danjiangkou Reservoir based on a 3-D water quality model

Abstract

Inter-basin water transfers containing a great deal of nitrogen are great threats to human health, biodiversity, and air and water quality in the recipient area. Danjiangkou Reservoir, the source reservoir for China’s South-to-North Water Diversion Middle Route Project, suffers from total nitrogen pollution and threatens the water transfer to a number of metropolises including the capital, Beijing. To locate the main source of nitrogen pollution into the reservoir, especially near the Taocha canal head, where the intake of water transfer begins, we constructed a 3-D water quality model. We then used an inflow sensitivity analysis method to analyze the significance of inflows from each tributary that may contribute to the total nitrogen pollution and affect water quality. The results indicated that the Han River was the most significant river with a sensitivity index of 0.340, followed by the Dan River with a sensitivity index of 0.089, while the Guanshan River and the Lang River were not significant, with the sensitivity indices of 0.002 and 0.001, respectively. This result implies that the concentration and amount of nitrogen inflow outweighs the geographical position of the tributary for sources of total nitrogen pollution to the Taocha canal head of the Danjiangkou Reservoir.

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Acknowledgements

The financial support of the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2011BAC12B02) and the Creative Research Groups of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51121003) are gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Zhifeng Yang.

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Chen, L., Yang, Z. & Liu, H. Sensitivity analysis for the total nitrogen pollution of the Danjiangkou Reservoir based on a 3-D water quality model. Front. Earth Sci. 11, 609–619 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11707-017-0650-3

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Keywords

  • nitrogen pollution
  • 3-D water quality model
  • sensitivity analysis
  • Danjiangkou Reservoir
  • South-to-North Water Diversion Project