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Effect of Land Use, Seasonality, and Hydrometeorological Conditions on the K+ Concentration–Discharge Relationship During Different Types of Floods in Carpathian Foothills Catchments (Poland)

Siwek, Joanna P., Żelazny, Mirosław, Siwek, Janusz, Szymański, Wojciech
Water, air, and soil pollution 2017 v.228 no.11 pp. 445
agricultural watersheds, floods, hills, hydrograph, hydrometeorology, hysteresis, land use, potassium, rain, runoff, seasonal variation, snowmelt, soil, stream channels, summer, woodlands, Poland
The purpose of the study was to determine the role of land use, seasonality, and hydrometeorological conditions on the relationship between stream water potassium (K⁺) concentration and discharge during different types of floods—short- and long-duration rainfall floods as well as snowmelt floods on frozen and thawed soils. The research was conducted in small catchments (agricultural, woodland, mixed-use) in the Carpathian Foothills (Poland). In the woodland catchment, lower K⁺ concentrations were noted for each given specific runoff value for summer rainfall floods versus snowmelt floods (seasonal effect). In the agricultural and mixed-use catchments, the opposite was true due to their greater ability to flush K⁺ out of the soil in the summer. In the stream draining woodland catchment, higher K⁺ concentrations occurred during the rising limb than during the falling limb of the hydrograph (clockwise hysteresis) for all flood types, except for snowmelt floods with the ground not frozen. In the agricultural catchment, clockwise hystereses were produced for short- and long-duration rainfall floods caused by high-intensity, high-volume rainfall, while anticlockwise hystereses were produced for short- and long-duration rainfall floods caused by low-intensity, low-volume rainfall as well as during snowmelt floods with the soil frozen and not frozen. In the mixed-use catchment, the hysteresis direction was also affected by different lag times for water reaching stream channels from areas with different land use. K⁺ hystereses for the woodland catchment were more narrow than those for the agricultural and mixed-use catchments due to a smaller pool of K⁺ in the woodland catchment. In all streams, the widest hystereses were produced for rainfall floods preceded by a long period without rainfall.