Modelling instream nitrogen variability in the Dee catchment, NE Scotland

A J Wade, C Soulsby, S J Langan, P G Whitehead, A C Edwards, D Butterfield, R P Smart, Y Cook, R P Owen

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The Integrated Nitrogen in CAtchments model (INCA) was applied to the River Dee, Aberdeenshire, NE Scotland. To a first approximation the model was able to simulate the annual mean streamwater NO3-N concentrations observed along the length of the main channel. This provided the basis for using INCA to subsequently explore the effects of N deposition and land use management on streamwater NO3-N concentrations and loads. On an annual timescale, the model predictions suggest that NO3-N concentrations will decrease by 5% following a 20% reduction in fertiliser application. Furthermore, model results also suggest that a 50% increase in N deposition will cause a 15% increase in the streamwater NO3-N concentrations. The utility of INCA as a tool for catchment management is discussed, current limitations are highlighted and possible improvements are suggested. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-252
Number of pages24
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2001



  • basin management
  • hydrochemistry
  • scale models
  • nitrogen
  • INCA model
  • land ocean interaction
  • multiple source assessment
  • surface waters
  • Scottish catchment
  • critical loads
  • Great-Britain
  • river basins
  • North-Sea
  • management
  • deposition

Cite this

Wade, A. J., Soulsby, C., Langan, S. J., Whitehead, P. G., Edwards, A. C., Butterfield, D., ... Owen, R. P. (2001). Modelling instream nitrogen variability in the Dee catchment, NE Scotland. Science of the Total Environment, 265(1-3), 229-252.