Stochastic modeling of phosphorus transport in the Three Gorges Reservoir by incorporating variability associated with the phosphorus partition coefficient

Lei Huang, Hongwei Fang, Xingya Xu, Guojian He, Xuesong Zhang, Danny Reible

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Phosphorus (P) fate and transport plays a crucial role in the ecology of rivers and reservoirs in which eutrophication is limited by P. A key uncertainty in models used to help manage P in such systems is the partitioning of P to suspended and bed sediments. By analyzing data from field and laboratory experiments, we stochastically characterize the variability of the partition coefficient (Kd) and derive spatio-temporal solutions for P transport in the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR). We formulate a set of stochastic partial different equations (SPDEs) to simulate P transport by randomly sampling Kd from the measured distributions, to obtain statistical descriptions of the P concentration and retention in the TGR. The correspondence between predicted and observed P concentrations and P retention in the TGR combined with the ability to effectively characterize uncertainty suggests that a model that incorporates the observed variability can better describe P dynamics and more effectively serve as a tool for P management in the system. This study highlights the importance of considering parametric uncertainty in estimating uncertainty/variability associated with simulated P transport.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-661
Number of pages13
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume592
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2017

Keywords

  • Partition coefficient
  • Phosphorus transport
  • Stochastic model
  • Three Gorges Reservoir
  • Uncertainty

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