This study investigates the spatial and temporal dynamics of Dissolved Organic carbon (DOC) concentration in a Mediterranean headwater catchment (Turbolo River catchment, southern Italy) equipped with two multi-parameter sondes providing more than two-year (May 2019-November 2021) continuous high-frequency measurements of several DOC-related parameters. The sondes were installed in two nested sections, a quasi-pristine upstream sub-catchment and a downstream outlet with anthropogenic water quality disturbances. DOC estimates were achieved by correcting the fluorescent dissolved organic matter-fDOM-values through an original procedure not requiring extensive laboratory measurements. Then, DOC dynamics at the seasonal and storm event scales were analyzed. At the seasonal scale, results confirmed the climate control on DOC production, with increasing background concentrations in hot and dry summer months. The hydrological regulation proved crucial for DOC mobilization and export, with the top 10th percentile of discharge associated with up to 79% of the total DOC yield. The analysis at the storm scale using flushing and hysteresis indices highlighted substantial differences between the two catchments. In the steeper upstream catchment, the limited capability of preserving hydraulic connection over time with DOC sources determined the prevalence of transport as the limiting factor to DOC export. In the downstream catchment, transport- and source-limited processes were observed almost equally. The correlation between the hysteretic behavior and antecedent precipitation was not linear since the process reverted to transport-limited for high accumulated rainfall values. Exploiting high-resolution measurements, the study provided insights into DOC export dynamics in nested headwater catchments at multiple time scales.

Seasonal and Storm Event‐Based Dynamics of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) Concentration in a Mediterranean Headwater Catchment

Micieli, Massimo;Botter, Gianluca
2023

Abstract

This study investigates the spatial and temporal dynamics of Dissolved Organic carbon (DOC) concentration in a Mediterranean headwater catchment (Turbolo River catchment, southern Italy) equipped with two multi-parameter sondes providing more than two-year (May 2019-November 2021) continuous high-frequency measurements of several DOC-related parameters. The sondes were installed in two nested sections, a quasi-pristine upstream sub-catchment and a downstream outlet with anthropogenic water quality disturbances. DOC estimates were achieved by correcting the fluorescent dissolved organic matter-fDOM-values through an original procedure not requiring extensive laboratory measurements. Then, DOC dynamics at the seasonal and storm event scales were analyzed. At the seasonal scale, results confirmed the climate control on DOC production, with increasing background concentrations in hot and dry summer months. The hydrological regulation proved crucial for DOC mobilization and export, with the top 10th percentile of discharge associated with up to 79% of the total DOC yield. The analysis at the storm scale using flushing and hysteresis indices highlighted substantial differences between the two catchments. In the steeper upstream catchment, the limited capability of preserving hydraulic connection over time with DOC sources determined the prevalence of transport as the limiting factor to DOC export. In the downstream catchment, transport- and source-limited processes were observed almost equally. The correlation between the hysteretic behavior and antecedent precipitation was not linear since the process reverted to transport-limited for high accumulated rainfall values. Exploiting high-resolution measurements, the study provided insights into DOC export dynamics in nested headwater catchments at multiple time scales.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3513545
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