08 Mar 2022
08 Mar 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

CAMELS-Chem: Augmenting CAMELS (Catchment Attributes and Meteorology for Large-sample Studies) with Atmospheric and Stream Water Chemistry Data

Gary Sterle1, Julia Perdrial2, Li Li3, Thomas Adler2, Kristen Underwood4, Donna Rizzo4, Hang Wen5, and Adrian Harpold1 Gary Sterle et al.
  • 1Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, University of Nevada, Reno, USA
  • 2Department of Geology, University of Vermont, USA
  • 3Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA
  • 4Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Vermont, USA
  • 5School of Earth System Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China

Abstract. Large sample datasets are transforming hypothesis testing and model fidelity in the catchment sciences, but few large stream water chemistry datasets exist with complementary streamflow, meteorology, and catchment physiographic attributes. Here, we pair atmospheric deposition and water chemistry related information with the existing CAMELS (Catchment Attributes and Meteorology for Large-sample Studies) dataset. The newly developed dataset, CAMELS-Chem, comprises U.S. Geological Survey water chemistry data and instantaneous discharge over the period from 1980 through 2014 in 506 minimally impacted headwater catchments. The CAMELS-Chem dataset includes 18 common stream water chemistry constituents: Al, Ca, Cl, Dissolved Organic Carbon, Total Organic Carbon, HCO3, K, Mg, Na, Total Dissolved Nitrogen [nitrate + nitrite + ammonia + organic-N], Total Organic Nitrogen, NO3, Dissolved Oxygen, pH (field and lab), Si, SO4, and water temperature. We also provide an annual wet deposition loads from the National Atmospheric Deposition Program over the same catchments that includes: Ca, Cl, H, K, Mg, and Total Nitrogen from deposition [precipitation NO3 + NH4, dry deposition of particulate NH4, + NO3, and gaseous NH3], Na, NH4, NO3, SO₄. We release a paired instantaneous discharge (and mean daily discharge) measurement for all chemistry samples. To motivate wider use by the larger scientific community, we develop three example analyses: 1. Atmospheric-aquatic linkages using atmospheric and stream SO4 trends, 2. Hydrologic-biogeochemical linkages using concentration-discharge relations, and 3. Geological-biogeochemical linkages using weathering relations. The retrieval scripts and final dataset of > 412,801 individual stream water chemistry measurements are available to the wider scientific community for continued investigation.

Gary Sterle et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2022-81', Anonymous Referee #1, 08 Apr 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Adrian Harpold, 21 Jul 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2022-81', Anonymous Referee #2, 02 Jun 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Adrian Harpold, 21 Jul 2022

Gary Sterle et al.

Gary Sterle et al.


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Short summary
We develop stream water chemistry to pair with the existing CAMELS (Catchment Attributes and Meteorology for Large-sample Studies) dataset. The newly developed dataset, termed CAMELS-Chem, includes common stream water chemistry constituents and precipitation chemistry in 506 catchments. Examples show that CAMELS-Chem could inform sources of stream water, bedrock weathering, and atmospheric effects on stream chemistry.