use of satellite images, land-use statistics and coefficients to predict nutrient runoff

Can land-use-specific export coefficients be used together with satellite images (Landsat) and/or regional land-use statistics to estimate loads and concentrations of total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and suspended solids? This question was raised by the authors of a new publication in Science of the Total Environment. Main author is Biowater’s PhD student Joy Bhattacharjee.

The study area was the Simojoki catchment in northern Finland, which has been intensively drained for peatland forestry since the 1960s. The authors conclude that there was some uncertainty in the methods they tested, but that the combination of historical land-use change estimates with simple export coefficients can be a practical approach for evaluating the influence on water quality of historical land-use changes such as peatland drainage for forest establishment. They also noted that peatland drainage strongly affected TN, TP, and SS loads and concentrations.

Graphical abstract of the paper. (Sci.Tot. Vol. 779, 2021)

Joy Bhattacharjee, Hannu Marttila, Samuli Launiainen, Ahti Lepistö, Bjørn Kløve, 2021. Combined use of satellite image analysis, land-use statistics, and land-use-specific export coefficients to predict nutrients in drained peatland catchment. Science of The Total Environment, Vol 779, 2021, 146419, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146419