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Vertical variation of nonpoint source pollutants in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region


, : Vertical variation of nonpoint source pollutants in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region. Plos One 8(8): E71194-E71194

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is considered the main reason for water deterioration, but there has been no attempt to incorporate vertical variations of NPS pollution into watershed management, especially in mountainous areas. In this study, the vertical variations of pollutant yields were explored in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region (TGRR) and the relationships between topographic attributes and pollutant yields were established. Based on our results, the pollutant yields decreased significantly from low altitude to median altitude and leveled off rapidly from median altitude to high altitude, indicating logarithmic relationships between pollutant yields and altitudes. The pollutant yields peaked at an altitude of 200-500 m, where agricultural land and gentle slopes (0-8°) are concentrated. Unlike the horizontal distributions, these vertical variations were not always related to precipitation patterns but did vary obviously with land uses and slopes. This paper also indicates that altitude data and proportions of land use could be a reliable estimate of NPS yields at different altitudes, with significant implications for land use planning and watershed management.

US$19.90

PMID: 23951110

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071194


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