Runoff losses of suspended sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus from a small watershed in Korea

Jong A. Chun, Richard A. Cooke, Moon S. Kang, Minha Choi, Dennis Timlin, Seung W. Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nutrients and sediments in runoff lead to the degradation of water quality of lakes and streams. The development of schemes to mitigate such degradation requires a characterization of the underlying transport processes. The objectives of this study were to develop annual and seasonal load-discharge relationships for suspended sediment (SS), total nitrogen (TN), and total phosphorus (TP) losses from a small mixed land use watershed and to use these relationships to explicate the annual and monthly patterns of losses of these species. Data from 1996 to 2004 were used to develop load-discharge relationships for SS, TN, and TP at the HP#6 watershed, a subwatershed of the Balhan reservoir watershed located in Bongdam-myun and Paltan-myun, Gyeonggi-do, Korea. Standard least squares curve fitting and S-estimation procedures were used to fit power functions to the data collected over this time period. The fitted load-discharge relationships are indicative of seasonal variations in SS and TN and of TP losses from HP#6. The exponents of the fitted power functions for TN and TP in the fall, for TP in summer season, and for SS in all seasons are >1, indicating that the concentrations of these species increase as flow rate increases. Most of the SS, TN, and TP transported in runoff left the watershed between April and September; thus, cost-efficient strategies can be established by focusing on this period. Further study of the seasonal variations is required for a better characterization of seasonal losses of SS, TN, and TP in runoff from the HP#6 watershed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-990
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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