Salting our landscape: An integrated catchment model using readily accessible data to assess emerging road salt contamination to streams

Li Jin, Paul Whitehead, Donald I. Siegel, Stuart Findlay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

A new integrated catchment model for salinity has been developed to assess the transport of road salt from upland areas in watersheds to streams using readily accessible landscape, hydrologic, and meteorological data together with reported salt applications. We used Fishkill Creek (NY) as a representative watershed to test the model. Results showed good agreement between modeled and measured stream water chloride concentrations. These results suggest that a dominant mode of catchment simulation that does not entail complex deterministic modeling is an appropriate method to model salinization and to assess effects of future applications of road salt to streams. We heuristically increased and decreased salt applications by 100% and results showed that stream chloride concentrations increased by 13% and decreased by 7%, respectively. The model suggests that future management of salt application can reduce environmental concentrations, albeit over some time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1257-1265
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume159
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2011

Keywords

  • Chloride
  • INCA
  • Road salt
  • Salinity
  • Water softener

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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