Evaluation of a surface hydrological connectivity index in agricultural catchments

Article


Shore, M., Murphy, P. N. C., Jordan, P., Mellander, P. -E., Kelly-Quinn, M., Cushen, M., Mechan, S., Shine, O. and Melland, A. R.. 2013. "Evaluation of a surface hydrological connectivity index in agricultural catchments." Environmental Modelling and Software. 47, pp. 7-15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2013.04.003
Article Title

Evaluation of a surface hydrological connectivity index in agricultural catchments

ERA Journal ID4673
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsShore, M. (Author), Murphy, P. N. C. (Author), Jordan, P. (Author), Mellander, P. -E. (Author), Kelly-Quinn, M. (Author), Cushen, M. (Author), Mechan, S. (Author), Shine, O. (Author) and Melland, A. R. (Author)
Journal TitleEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Journal Citation47, pp. 7-15
Number of Pages9
Year2013
PublisherElsevier
Place of PublicationKidlington, OX. United Kingdom
ISSN1364-8152
1873-6726
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2013.04.003
Abstract

Identification of surface hydrological connectivity at scales where critical source areas (CSAs) can be managed is fundamental to achieving effective management of phosphorus loss in agricultural catchments. This study investigated the potential for the 'Network Index' (NI) to predict surface connectivity at CSA-management scales in contrasting agricultural catchments (ca. 1200ha) using a 5m DEM. One catchment had mostly permeable soils and a low surface ditch density. The other catchment had mostly impermeable soils and a high surface ditch density. The importance of surface ditch data for accurately modelling the location and magnitude of surface connectivity was also evaluated. Modelled surface connectivity at the subcatchment scale (ca. 130ha) was validated using observed channel (ditch and stream) densities. Modelled surface connectivity at the field scale (ca. 2ha) was evaluated using four indicators of observed field connectivity. At the subcatchment scale, modelled surface connectivity matched observations well (R2=0.52) despite the soil type variability across catchments. However, some errors in subcatchment boundary delineation (total of 133ha in one catchment) occurred which could distort the extent of predicted CSAs. At the field scale, the NI had potential for broadly discerning the most connected from the least connected fields which is valuable for identifying where CSA-based management should be targeted. Detailed ditch information was required to accurately delineate subcatchment boundaries; however, it was not needed for predicting subcatchment connectivity.

Keywordscritical source areas; CSA; DEM; drainage ditches; network index; NI; surface connectivity; TWI
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020370704. Surface water hydrology
300207. Agricultural systems analysis and modelling
410601. Land capability and soil productivity
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity College Dublin, Ireland
Teagasc Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Ireland
University of Ulster, United Kingdom
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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