Assessing the Impact of Storm Drains at Road Embankments on Diffuse Particulate Phosphorus Emissions in Agricultural Catchments

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: This is version 3 of this Preprint.


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Gerold Hepp , Matthias Zessner


This study presents a simple mapping key suitable for quick and systematic assessments of the types of agricultural and civil engineering structures present in a certain agricultural catchment as well as the impact they may have on the spatial distribution of critical source areas. An application of this mapping key to three small sub-catchments of a case study catchment with an area of several hundred square kilometres (one-stage cluster sampling) in Austria clearly reveals that road embankments with subsurface drainage can exert a major influence on emissions and transport pathways of sediment-bound pollutants like particulate phosphorus (PP). Due to this, the semi-empirical, spatially distributed PhosFate model is extended to separately model PP emissions into surface waters via storm drains along road embankments. Furthermore, the overall share of road embankments with subsurface drainage on all road embankments in the case study catchment is inferred with the help of a Bayesian hierarchical model. The combination of the results of these two models shows that the share of storm drains at road embankments on total PP emissions ranges from about one fifth to one third in the investigated area.



Environmental Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Water Resource Management


Bayesian statistics, diffuse pollution, distributed modelling, field mapping, PhosFate, storm drains


Published: 2019-01-21 15:56

Last Updated: 2019-10-19 06:25

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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