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Frontiers of Earth Science

Front. Earth Sci.    2017, Vol. 11 Issue (4) : 609-619
Sensitivity analysis for the total nitrogen pollution of the Danjiangkou Reservoir based on a 3-D water quality model
Libin CHEN1,2, Zhifeng YANG1(), Haifei LIU1
1. State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2. Key Laboratory of Ministry of Water Resources for Ecological Impacts of Hydraulic-projects and Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystem, Institute of Hydroecology, Ministry of Water Resources & Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430079, China
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Inter-basin water transfers containing a great deal of nitrogen are great threats to human health, biodiversity, and air and water quality in the recipient area. Danjiangkou Reservoir, the source reservoir for China’s South-to-North Water Diversion Middle Route Project, suffers from total nitrogen pollution and threatens the water transfer to a number of metropolises including the capital, Beijing. To locate the main source of nitrogen pollution into the reservoir, especially near the Taocha canal head, where the intake of water transfer begins, we constructed a 3-D water quality model. We then used an inflow sensitivity analysis method to analyze the significance of inflows from each tributary that may contribute to the total nitrogen pollution and affect water quality. The results indicated that the Han River was the most significant river with a sensitivity index of 0.340, followed by the Dan River with a sensitivity index of 0.089, while the Guanshan River and the Lang River were not significant, with the sensitivity indices of 0.002 and 0.001, respectively. This result implies that the concentration and amount of nitrogen inflow outweighs the geographical position of the tributary for sources of total nitrogen pollution to the Taocha canal head of the Danjiangkou Reservoir.

Keywords nitrogen pollution      3-D water quality model      sensitivity analysis      Danjiangkou Reservoir      South-to-North Water Diversion Project     
Corresponding Authors: Zhifeng YANG   
Just Accepted Date: 26 April 2017   Online First Date: 07 June 2017    Issue Date: 10 November 2017
 Cite this article:   
Libin CHEN,Zhifeng YANG,Haifei LIU. Sensitivity analysis for the total nitrogen pollution of the Danjiangkou Reservoir based on a 3-D water quality model[J]. Front. Earth Sci., 2017, 11(4): 609-619.
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Libin CHEN
Zhifeng YANG
Haifei LIU
Fig.1  Location of the Danjiangkou Reservoir and boundary sites of the water quality model.
Fig.2  Hydrological characteristics of inflows and outflows of the Danjiangkou Reservoir. Note: the negative value indicates outflow.
Fig.3  Monthly total nitrogen concentration of inflows to the Danjiangkou Reservoir in 2009.
Fig.4  Time series of simulated and observed water levels in 2009.
Fig.5  Time series of simulated and observed water temperatures in 2009.
Fig.6  Time series of simulated and observed total nitrogen concentrations in 2009.
Parameters Value Unit
Hydrodynamic module
Background horizontal eddy viscosity 1 m 2/s
Dimensionless horizontal momentum diffusivity 0.2 -
Background vertical eddy viscosity 0.001 m 2/s
Vertical molecular diffusivity 1×10 −9 m 2/s
Water temperature module -
Clear water light extinction coefficient 0.45 1/m
Minimum fraction of solar radiation absorbed in the top layer 0.5 -
Thermal thickness of bed 5 m
Initial bed temperature 5 °C
Fraction of bed head due to solar radiated back to water column 0.003 -
Head transfer coefficient between bed/water column 0.3 -
Water quality module
Decay rate of the total nitrogen 0.0004 mg/d
Tab.1  Key parameters in the total nitrogen model of the Danjiangkou Reservoir
Fig.7  Horizontal distribution of total nitrogen in the Danjiangkou Reservoir.
Fig.8  Time series of the simulated total nitrogen concentration in the Taocha canal head with respect to total nitrogen concentration variation in each inflow river.
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