Modeling the mechanisms that control in-stream dissolved organic carbon dynamics in upland and forested catchments
Futter, M. N., Butterfield, D., Cosby, B. J., Dillon, P. J., Wade, A. J. and Whitehead, P. (2007) Modeling the mechanisms that control in-stream dissolved organic carbon dynamics in upland and forested catchments. Water Resources Research, 43 (2). W02424. ISSN 0043-1397
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2006wr004960
 We present a new, process-based model of soil and stream water dissolved organic carbon (DOC): the Integrated Catchments Model for Carbon (INCA-C). INCA-C is the first model of DOC cycling to explicitly include effects of different land cover types, hydrological flow paths, in-soil carbon biogeochemistry, and surface water processes on in-stream DOC concentrations. It can be calibrated using only routinely available monitoring data. INCA-C simulates daily DOC concentrations over a period of years to decades. Sources, sinks, and transformation of solid and dissolved organic carbon in peat and forest soils, wetlands, and streams as well as organic carbon mineralization in stream waters are modeled. INCA-C is designed to be applied to natural and seminatural forested and peat-dominated catchments in boreal and temperate regions. Simulations at two forested catchments showed that seasonal and interannual patterns of DOC concentration could be modeled using climate-related parameters alone. A sensitivity analysis showed that model predictions were dependent on the mass of organic carbon in the soil and that in-soil process rates were dependent on soil moisture status. Sensitive rate coefficients in the model included those for organic carbon sorption and desorption and DOC mineralization in the soil. The model was also sensitive to the amount of litter fall. Our results show the importance of climate variability in controlling surface water DOC concentrations and suggest the need for further research on the mechanisms controlling production and consumption of DOC in soils.