Rainfall and runoff water quality of the Pang and Lambourn, tributaries of the River Thames, south-eastern England
- 1Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, OXON, OX10 8BB, UK
- 2Department of Geography, Whiteknights, P.O. Box 227, Reading, RG6 2AB, UK
- Email for corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract. The water quality of rainfall and runoff is described for two catchments of two tributaries of the River Thames, the Pang and Lambourn. Rainfall chemistry is variable and concentrations of most determinands decrease with increasing volume of catch probably due to "wash out" processes. Two rainfall sites have been monitored, one for each catchment. The rainfall site on the Lambourn shows higher chemical concentrations than the one for the Pang which probably reflects higher amounts of local inputs from agricultural activity. Rainfall quality data at a long-term rainfall site on the Pang (UK National Air Quality Archive) shows chemistries similar to that for the Lambourn site, but with some clear differences. Rainfall chemistries show considerable variation on an event-to-event basis. Average water quality concentrations and flow-weighted concentrations as well as fluxes vary across the sites, typically by about 30%. Stream chemistry is much less variable due to the main source of water coming from aquifer sources of high storage. The relationship between rainfall and runoff chemistry at the catchment outlet is described in terms of the relative proportions of atmospheric and within-catchment sources. Remarkably, in view of the quantity of agricultural and sewage inputs to the streams, the catchments appear to be retaining both P and N.
Keywords: water quality, nitrate, ammonium, phosphorus, ammonia, nitrogen dioxide, pH, alkalinity, nutrients, trace metals, rainfall, river, Pang, Lambourn, LOCAR