The IAHS Symposium on Dissolved Loads of Rivers and Surface Water Quantity/Quality Relationships took place in Hamburg, West Germany, August 16–18, 1983, as part of the IUGG 18th General Assembly. Coconvenors, B. W. Webb of the University of Exeter, UK, and R. A. Gras of Electricity de France, delineated 3 topics: “Spatial and Temporal Variations in Dissolved Loads and Solute Concentrations,” “Solute Sources, Budgets, and Denudation,” and “Applications of Surface Water Quantity/Quality Relationships”.
From the range of field investigations discussed, it was apparent that different perspectives on the symposium title were being affected by scale and academic ideals. That is, intense and detailed studies on smaller watersheds were advocating study approaches radically different from those interested in macroscale (basinwide or global) analyses. The former become imbedded in assessing chemical processes and in formulating causal relationships for observed data. The latter tend to rely on empirical data-analysis techniques.