Gis Approach to Estimation of the Total Phosphorous Transfer in the Pilica River Lowland Catchment

Open access


In this paper, the Pilica River catchment (central Poland) is analyzed with a focus on understanding the total phosphorous transfer along the river system which also contains the large artificial Sulejów Reservoir. The paper presents a GIS method for estimating the total phosphorous (TP) load from proxy data representing sub-catchment land use and census data. The modelled load of TP is compared to the actual transfer of TP in the Pilica River system. The results shows that the metrics of connectivity between river system and dwelling areas as well as settlement density in the sub-catchments are useful predictors of the total phosphorous load. The presence of a large reservoir in the middle course of the river can disrupt nutrient transport along a river continuum by trapping and retaining suspended sediment and its associated TP load. Analysis of the indirect estimation of TP loads with the GIS analysis can be useful for identifying beneficial reservoir locations in a catchment. The study has shown that the Sulejów Reservoir has been located in a subcatchment with a largest load of the TP, and this feature helps determine the problem of reservoir eutrphication

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Allan J.D. Johnson L.B. 1997. Catchment-scale analysis of aquatic ecosystems. Freshwater Biology 37: 107-111.

  • Altinakar M. Kiedrzyńska E. Magnuszewski A. 2006. Modeling of inundation pattern at Pilica river floodplain Poland. In: Demuth S. Gustard A. Planos E. Scatena F. Servat E. (eds) Climate Variability and Change Hydrological Impacts. IAHS Publ. 308: 579-585.

  • Arnold C.L. Gibbons C.J. 1996. Impervious surface: the emergence of a key environmental indicator. Journal of the American Planning Association 62: 244-252.

  • Beaulac M.N. Reckhow K.H. 1982. An examination of landuse- nutrient export relationships. Water Resources Bulletin 18: 1013-1024.

  • Błaszczyk P. Gromiec M. Miłaszewski R. 2011. Impact of the National Programme for Municipal Wastewater Treatment to meet the demand for sewerage services. Gaz Woda i Technika Sanitarna 7-8: 251-253 (in Polish).

  • Bouraoui F. Grizzetti B.. Adelsköld G. Behrendt H. de Miguel I. Silgram M. Gómez S. Granlund K. Hoffmann L. Kronvang B. Kværnø S. Lázár A. Mimikou M. Passarella G. Panagos P. Reisser H. Schwarzl B. Siderius C. Sileika A.S. Smit A. A. M. F. R. Sugrue R. VanLiedekerke M. Zaloudik J. 2009. Basin characteristics and nutrient losses: the EUROHARP catchment network perspective. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 11(3): 515-525.

  • Bricker S. Longstaff B. Dennison W. Jones A. Boicourt K. Wicks C. 2007. Effects of nutrient enrichment in the nation’s estuaries: a decade of change. NOAA Coastal Ocean Program Decision Analysis Series No. 26. National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Silver Spring MD.

  • BSAP 2007. HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan has been adopted by Poland and other Baltic states at the Ministerial Conference held in Krakow on 15.11.2007 (

  • Clapham Jr W.B. Granat L. Holland M.M. 1999. Human activities in the drainage basin as sources of nonpoint pollutants. In: Thornton J.A. (ed.) Assessment and control of nonpoint source pollution of aquatic ecosystems. UNESCO Paris.

  • Frissell C.A. Liss L.J. Warren C.E. Hurley M.D. 1986. A hierarchical framework for stream habitat classification: viewing streams in a watershed context. Environmental Management 10: 199-214.

  • De Wit M. 2000. Modelling nutrient fluxes from source to river load: a macroscopic analysis applied to the Rhine and Elbe basins. Hydrobiologia 410: 123-130.

  • Greenberg A.E. Clesceri L.S. Eaton A.D. (eds) 1992. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. 18th edition. American Public Health Association Washington.

  • Hetling L.J. Jaworski N.A. Gerretson D.J. 1999. Comparison of nutrient input loading and riverine export fluxes in large watersheds. Water Science and Technology 39 (12): 189-196.

  • Horowitz A.J. Stephens V.C. 2008. The effects of landuse on fluvial sediment chemistry for the conterminous U.S. - Results from the first cycle of the NAWQA Program: Trace and major elements phosphorus carbon and sulfur. Science of the Total Environment 400: 290-314.

  • IMGW 2008. Study on sedimentation and reservoir volume - Sulejów Reservoir Warszawa report documentation (in Polish).

  • Izydorczyk K. Frątczak W. Drobniewska A. Cichowicz E. Michalska-Hejduk D. Gross R. Zalewski M. 2013. A biogeochemical barrier to enhance a buffer zone for reducing diffuse phosphorus pollution-preliminary results. Ecohydrology and Hydrobiology 13: (2) 104-112.

  • Izydorczyk K. Tarczyńska M. Jurczak T. Mrówczyński J. Zalewski M. 2005. Measurement of phycocyanin fluorescence as an online early warning system for cyanobacteria in reservoir intake water. Environmental Toxicology 20: 425-430.

  • Jarvie H.P. Neal C. Withers P.J.A. 2006. Sewage-effluent phosphorus: A greater risk to river eutrophication than agricultural phosphorus? Science of the Total Environment 360: 246-253

  • Jones K.B. Neale A.C. Nash M.S. VanRemortel R.D. Wickham J.D. Riitters K.H. O’Neill R.V. 2001. Predicting nutrient and sediment loadings to streams from landscape metrics: a multiple watershed study from the United States mid-AtlanticRegion. Landscape Ecology 16: 301-312.

  • Kiedrzyńska E. Kiedrzyński M. Urbaniak M. Magnuszewski A. Skłodowski M. Wyrwicka A. Zalewski M. 2014. Point sources of nutrient pollution in the lowland river catchment in the context of the Baltic Sea eutrophication. Ecological Engineering 70: 337-348 DOI 10.1016/j. ecoleng.2014.06.010.

  • Kiedrzyńska E. Zalewski M. 2012. Water Quality Improvement Through an Integrated Approach to Point and Non-Point Sources Pollution and Management of River Floodplain Wetlands. In: Voudouris K. and Voutsa D. (eds) Ecological Water Quality - Water Treatment and Reuse: 325-342. Open Access InTech. Rijeka Croatia. http://

  • Kiedrzyńska E. Urbaniak M. Kiedrzyński M. Skłodowski M. Zalewski M. 2012. Point sources of pollution as a threat to water quality Pilica. Gaz Woda i Technika Sanitarna 6: 254-256. (in Polish).

  • Kiedrzyńska E. Kiedrzyński M. Zalewski M. 2008a. Flood sediment deposition and phosphorus retention in a lowland river floodplain: impact on water quality of a reservoir Sulejów Poland. Ecohydrology and Hydrobiology 8 (2-4): 281-289.

  • Kiedrzyńska E. Wagner-Łotkowska I. Zalewski M. 2008b. Quantification of phosphorus retention efficiency by floodplain vegetation and a management strategy for a eutrophic reservoir restoration. Ecological Engineering 33: 15-25.

  • Magnuszewski A. Kiedrzyńska E. Wagner-Łotkowska I. Zalewski M. 2005. Immobilising of Sediments in a Lowland River Floodplain. In: Altinakar M.S. Czernuszenko W. Rowiński P.M. and Wang S.S.Y. (eds) Computational Modeling for the Development of Sustainable Water-Resources Systems in Poland. US-Poland Technology Transfer Program. Publications of the Institute of Geophysics Polish Academy of Sciences. Monographic Volume E-5 387: 239-260.

  • Magnuszewski A. Kiedrzyńska E. Wagner-Łotkowska I. Zalewski M. 2007. Numerical modelling of material fluxes on the floodplain wetland of the Pilica River Poland. In: Okruszko T. Szatylowicz J. Miroslaw-Swiatek D. Kotowski W. Maltby E. (eds) Wetlands: Monitoring Modelling and Management. A.A. Balkema Publishers - Taylor and Francis Group. The Netherlands 205-210.

  • Mizgajski A. 2007. Development of rural landscape in Wielkopolska in reference to metabolism of agroecosystems. Quaestiones Geographicae 26A: 39-51.

  • Newhama L.T.H. Letcher R.A. Jakeman A.J. Kobayashi T. 2004. A framework for integrated hydrologic sediment and nutrient export modelling for catchment-scale management. Environmental Modelling and Software 19(2004): 1029-1038.

  • Norris R.H. Linke S. Prosser I. Young W.J. Liston P. Bauer N. Sloane N. Dyer F. Thoms M. 2007. Very-broad-scale assessment of human impacts on river condition. Freshwater Biology 52: 959-976.

  • PCSO 2010. Polish Central Statistical Office. Statistical Yearbook of the Polish Republic in 2009. Warsaw. Poland. (in Polish).

  • PCSO 2012. Polish Central Statistical Office. Environment Protection 2012. (in Polish).

  • PGI 2007. Polish Geological Institute Map of areas at risk of flooding in Poland. Państwowy Instytut Geologiczny Warsaw. Poland Pieterse N.M. Bleuten W. Jørgensen S.E. 2003 Contribution of point sources and diffuse sources to nitrogen and phosphorus loads in lowland river tributaries. Journal of Hydrology 27: 1213-225.

  • Russell M.J. Weller D.E. Jordan T.E. Sigwart K.J. Sullivan K.J. 2008. Net anthropogenic phosphorus inputs: spatial and temporal variability in the Chesapeake Bay region. Biogeochemistry 88: 285-304.

  • Sapek A. 2008. Sources of the substances transported by the rivers to the Baltic Sea. Woda Środowisko Obszary Wiejskie 8 2a(23): 151-161.

  • Sapek A. 2010. Polish agriculture and water quality protection with an emphasis on the Baltic Sea. Woda Środowisko Obszary Wiejskie 10 1(29): 175-200.

  • Tarczyńska M. Romanowska-Duda Z. Jurczak T. Zalewski M. 2001. Toxic cyanobacterial blooms in a drinking water reservoir-causes consequences and management strategy. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply 1(2): 237-246.

  • Urbaniak M. Kiedrzyńska E. Zalewski M. 2012. The role of a lowland reservoir in the transport of micropollutants nutrients and the suspended particulate matter along the river continuum. Hydrology Research 43.4: 400-411.

  • Wagner I. Zalewski M. 2000. Effect of hydrological patterns of tributaries on biotic processes in a lowland reservoir consequences for restoration. Ecological Engineering 16: 79-90.

  • Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for the Community action in the field of water policy. Official Journal L327 P.0001-0073(22/12 2000).

  • Wickham J.D. Wade T.G. 2002. Watershed level risk assessment of nitrogen and phosphorus export. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 37: 15-24.

Journal information
Impact Factor

CiteScore 2018: 0.83

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.236
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.461

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 219 119 1
PDF Downloads 98 62 1