Articles | Volume 6, issue 3
30 Jun 2002
30 Jun 2002

The Integrated Catchments model of Phosphorus dynamics (INCA-P), a new approach for multiple source assessment in heterogeneous river systems: model structure and equations

A. J. Wade, P. G. Whitehead, and D. Butterfield

Abstract. A new model has been developed for assessing the effects of multiple sources of phosphorus on the water quality and aquatic ecology in heterogeneous river systems. The Integrated Catchments model for Phosphorus (INCA-P) is a process-based, mass balance model that simulates the phosphorus dynamics in both the plant/soil system and the stream. The model simulates the spatial variations in phosphorus export from different land use types within a river system using a semi-distributed representation, thereby accounting for the impacts of different land management practices, such as organic and inorganic fertiliser and wastewater applications. The land phase of INCA-P includes a simplified representation of direct runoff, soilwater and groundwater flows, and the soil processes that involve phosphorus. In addition, the model includes a multi-reach in-stream component that routes water down the main river channel. It simulates Organic and Inorganic Phosphorus concentrations in the land phase, and Total Phosphorus (dissolved plus particulate phosphorus) concentrations in the in-stream phase. In-stream Soluble Reactive Phosphorus concentrations are determined from the Total Phosphorus concentrations and the macrophyte, epiphyte and algal biomasses are simulated also. This paper describes the model structure and equations, the limitations and the potential utility of the approach.

Keywords: modelling, water quality, phosphorus, soluble reactive phosphorus, basin management