Modelling water fluxes for the analysis of diffuse pollution at the river basin scale

M. de Wit, C.R. Meinardi, F. Wendland, R. Kunkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Diffuse pollution is a significant and sometimes even major component of surface water pollution. Diffuse inputs of pollutants to the surface water are related to runoff of precipitation. This means that the analysis of diffuse pollutant fluxes from the land surface to the surface water requires an analysis of water fluxes. In this paper we have modelled the average long-term total runoff, groundwater recharge index and groundwater residence times for two large European river basins (Rhine and Elbe). We applied and compared two independently developed and recently published methods. We found that with the available large-scale databases and methods we could simulate successfully the regional patterns of the average long-term total runoff. The reported groundwater recharge indices and groundwater residence times should be interpreted as estimates based on available knowledge and databases. They do not represent absolute values, but illustrate the possible travel times and spatial patterns of the different runoff components that have to be taken into account for the analysis of diffuse pollution at large regional and temporal scales.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1707-1723
JournalHydrological Processes
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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