Dynamics of critical source areas: does connectivity explain chemistry?

Joshua Thompson, D. Doody, Raymond Flynn, Catherine Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: Critical source area approaches to catchment management are increasingly being recognised as effective tools to mitigate sediment and nutrient transfers. These approaches often assume hydrological connectivity as a driver for environmental risk, however this assumption has rarely been tested. Using high resolution monitoring, 14 rainfall events of contrasting intensity were examined in detail for spatial and temporal dynamics of overland flow generation at a hydrologically isolated grassland hillslope in Co. Down, Northern Ireland. Interactions between overland flow connectivity and nutrient transfers were studied to test the critical source area hypothesis. While total and soluble phosphorus loads were found to be representative of the size of the overland flow contributing area (P=
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-508
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Environmental Chemistry


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