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Water quality in two Icelandic rivers: The influence of impoundment, agriculture, glaciation and permafrost

Jones, Nicholas; Parker, Chris

Authors

Nicholas Jones nick5.jones@uwe.ac.uk

Chris Parker Chris2.Parker@uwe.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography



Abstract

© IWA Publishing 2015. The water quality of Icelandic rivers is controlled by a number of natural and anthropogenic factors interacting at complex spatial and temporal scales. This article presents the findings of a study into the water quality of two Icelandic rivers; the Blanda and the Skjálfandafljót. The study investigated the impact of three of the factors influencing water quality in these rivers: impoundment for hydroelectric power generation; agricultural land use; and the presence of glacial and periglacial areas. The results indicate that impoundment within a reservoir was responsible for a significant reduction in turbidity and a significant drop in aluminium concentrations as the reservoir acted as a sediment trap and chemical sink. Agricultural land use was found to have no significant effect on the nitrate or phosphate concentrations. Increasing glacial influence was found to be associated with increased turbidity but decreased total dissolved solids. Finally, the presence of permafrost soils in the periglacial highlands of the Blanda was positively associated with aluminium concentrations.

Citation

Jones, N., & Parker, C. (2015). Water quality in two Icelandic rivers: The influence of impoundment, agriculture, glaciation and permafrost. Hydrology Research, 46(3), 429-445. https://doi.org/10.2166/nh.2014.268

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Journal Hydrology Research
Print ISSN 0029-1277
Electronic ISSN 2224-7955
Publisher IWA Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Issue 3
Pages 429-445
DOI https://doi.org/10.2166/nh.2014.268
Keywords glaciers, Iceland, impoundment, permafrost, reservoir, water quality
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/842659
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.2166/nh.2014.268
Related Public URLs http://www.iwaponline.com/nh/