Drained land and nutrient transport in the river Svärtaå catchment
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Land use changes such as lowering of lakes, draining of wetlands and channelizing of streams have affected the hydrological environment in many catchment areas. Numerous studies report that these changes affect the nutrient retention. The river Svärtaå catchment, near Nyköping is identified as one of the areas in Sweden that transport most phosphorus and nitrogen to the Baltic Sea per unit area. The aim of this study was therefore to analyse to which extent land use changes such as lowering of lakes, draining of wetlands and channelizing of streams have affected the nutrient transport to the Baltic Sea.
Land use changes were to a large extent performed between the years 1880 and 1930 inSweden, historical maps from the late 19th century have therefore been studied. An application based on the concept of a Geographical Information System (GIS) has been used in order to compare the district map from late 19th century and the terrain map from today. To address the nutrient transport retention coefficients have been found in the literature and implemented on the changes in water area.
Changes in the hydrological environment reached totally1068 ha,964 hawere decreasing water areas and104 haincreasing water areas. Wet areas totally decreased with 28 % when the historical setting was compared with the contemporary environment. The loss in wet area represents860 ha. Watercourses with riparian zones have decreased with 54 %, bogs with 53 %, wetlands with 43 % and lakes with 13 %. The loss in retained mass regarding phosphorus was, based on calculations involving retention coefficients, 7,18 – 146 tonnes, and regarding nitrogen 37,9 – 941 tonnes.
The changes in the catchment are probably connected to measures like lowering of lakes, draining of wetlands and channelizing of streams. The assumed lost retained masses shows to be high compared to the measured output from the catchment. This leads to questioning of the retention coefficients and the vast range between them, as well as questioning of other assumptions in the method. The consequences of the hydrological changes are therefore difficult to evaluate.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 54 p.
River Svärtaå, land use changes, nutrient retention, historical maps, retention coefficients
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-69685ISRN: LIU -TEMA/MV-C -11/17 - SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-69685DiVA: diva2:431143
Subject / course
Bachelor of Science Thesis, Environmental Science Programme
UppsokLife Earth Science