Paper No. 96073 of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (formerly Water Resources Bulletin). Discussions are open until October 1, 1997.
OPTICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF NEW ZEALAND RIVERS IN RELATION TO FLOW1
Article first published online: 11 JUN 2007
JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume 33, Issue 2, pages 301–312, April 1997
How to Cite
Smith, D. G., Davies-Colley, R. J., Knoef, J. and Slot, G. W. J. (1997), OPTICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF NEW ZEALAND RIVERS IN RELATION TO FLOW. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 33: 301–312. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.1997.tb03511.x
- Issue published online: 11 JUN 2007
- Article first published online: 11 JUN 2007
- optical water quality;
- yellow substance
ABSTRACT: Six years (1989–1994) of data from New Zealand's National Rivers Water Quality Network were used to characterize the optical water quality regime of river waters as regards: visual clarity (black disc visibility), turbidity, and light-absorbing aquatic humic material (referred to as ‘yellow substance,’ measured as light absorption at 440 nm). Quantitative relationships between optical water quality variables and flow in rivers are well-described by power law expressions. Visual clarity usually decreases strongly with increasing flow in individual rivers. There is a strong, inverse relationship between turbidity and visibility, but, because of differences between sites, turbidity is not a good general predictor of visual clarity (the attribute of real interest) in rivers. Yellow substance tends to increase with increasing flow, probably because during rainstorms, soil water high in yellow-colored humic material, rather than rain water or ground water, dominates discharge. Therefore, rivers are typically clear and low in humic matter at low flow, and turbid and yellow-colored at high flow.