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Evaluating the applicability of MESS (matrix exponential spatial specification) model to assess water quality using GIS technique in agricultural mountain catchment (Western Carpathian)

Halecki, Wiktor, Stachura, Tomasz, Fudała, Wioletta, Rusnak, Maria
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2019 v.191 no.1 pp. 26
arable soils, cultivation area, dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity, environmental management, floods, forests, geographic information systems, growing season, hydrochemistry, land use, meadows, models, mountain soils, multivariate analysis, nitrate nitrogen, nitrite nitrogen, phosphate phosphorus, physicochemical properties, pollution, quarries, rivers, runoff, sodding, surface water, total suspended solids, water erosion, water quality, water reservoirs, watersheds, Carpathian region
The formation of many sources of pollution in a short period of time is due to mountain soil erosion by water. One of the major mechanisms decisive in the intensification of such erosion is the loosening of soil material on the slope. Water quality studies show the impact of diversified spatial management and allow making the right decisions in environmental management in mountain areas with high variability of use and land cover. The research undertaken as part of the paper was carried out in order to determine the dependency between total suspended solids (TSS) and the physicochemical parameters of surface waters and the amount of soil losses in the use structure within the mountain catchment. The paper focused on the frequency of phenomena in time and the possibility of stopping the surface runoff on the slope and on the soil’s susceptibility to water erosion. The dependencies between multipoint sampling and the concentration of material washed off the slope due to precipitation were verified with a multivariate analysis. Sampling took place in hydrometric sections, and during small floods, in the waterbed cross section. Research shows that such sampling is the basis for the calculation of the transported load, reflecting the average variation in concentration. The variation in the volume of the load from the individual parts of the catchment was assessed by the spatial autoregressive model. It was found that the use of river basin areas affects water chemistry. Water reservoirs are an important ecological barrier for the migration of nitrate nitrogen (N-NO₃) and phosphate phosphorus (P-PO₄), which is marked by changes in the growing season. Water along the sections of the river near the quarry with a high degree of sodding showed good quality condition. Despite significant differences between measurement sampling sites, high total dissolved solid (TDS) values were found in communities adjacent to forests and meadows. However, the highest electrical conductivity (EC) and TSS concentrations were found in the interface with cultivated areas. Biogenic indices showed variation depending on the way the adjacent areas were used. GIS linked spatial variables with the formation of water pollution. The analysis of spatial autoregression pointed to the impact of arable land. Moreover, the analysis of spatial autoregression with the MESS function designated a connection between agricultural land use and nitrite nitrogen (N-NO₂), EC, TSS, and dissolved oxygen (DO). Graphical abstract ᅟ