Identifying critical source areas for phosphorus loss in Ireland using field and catchment scale ranking schemes

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Title: Identifying critical source areas for phosphorus loss in Ireland using field and catchment scale ranking schemes
Authors: Hughes, K.J.
Magette, W. L.
Kurz, I.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/4109
Date: Mar-2005
Abstract: Phosphorus (P) in agricultural runoff is a major pollutant in many of Ireland's surface waters. Identification of areas that are at a high risk for P loss to surface waters is a critical component of river basin management. Two P ranking schemes (PRS's) were developed for Ireland, based on multi-criteria analysis approaches proposed in both the US and Europe, to predict the relative likelihood of P loss at both the field and catchment scales. The Field PRS was evaluated by comparing predicted rankings of potential P loss and transport against measured edge-of-field Dissolved Reactive P (DRP) loss for three fields with varying soil P levels. Qualitatively, results indicated that the Field PRS rankings corresponded to the magnitudes of measured P loss for the field sites, as well as to a reasoned evaluation of the relative likelihood that the fields would lose P that would subsequently make its way to surface water. The Catchment PRS was evaluated on a total of 31 catchments and sub-catchments by comparing predicted rankings of potential P loss and transport against measured in-stream median Molybdate Reactive P (MRP). Rankings of the relative likelihood of P loss and transport predicted by the Catchment PRS were positively correlated with median in-stream MRP (r=0.51, P<0.05). Although the data available for these evaluations were limited, especially at field scale, and further research may identify the opportunity for modifications, both field and catchment scale P ranking schemes demonstrated a potential for identifying critical P source areas within catchments dominated by grass-based agricultural production systems, such as those in Ireland.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright (published version): 2004, Elsevier B.V
Keywords: Diffuse pollution management;Multi-criteria analysis;Catchment management
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2004.07.042
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Civil Engineering Research Collection

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