Management of nutrient emissions of Axios River catchment: Their effect in the coastal zone of Thermaikos Gulf, Greece
The estimation of nutrient fluxes, the determination of spatial and temporal response and the understanding of biogeochemical changes in the past, present and future in the Axios River catchment, in Greece, as well as the impacts to the coastal zone of Thermaikos Gulf were accomplished by the use of harmonized watershed and coastal zone models. The mathematical model MONERIS was the watershed management model that was used to model the export loads of nutrients in Axios River. MONERIS was developed to estimate the nutrient inputs into river basins by point sources and various diffuse pathways. Watershed hydrologic and water quality data were collected and synthesized to develop input data sets for the simulation of Axios River catchment. The model was modified to better assess organic nitrogen export loads in Mediterranean watersheds. The results showed the importance of agricultural and livestock activities, concerning their nutrients emissions in the River. MONERIS was integrated with the coastal zone model WASP 6.0 to assess the impacts of the nutrient loads to the eutrophication status of the coastal zone. Several management scenarios were assessed. Management scenarios included measures for reduction in the emissions from the fertilizer plant of Veles, removal of phosphorous from the detergents in FYROM, treatment of urban wastes to EU Standards, reduction in N-fertilizer input, reduction in erosion and the green scenario that represented the maximum reduction scenario of all the measures together. The model simulations indicated that the coastal zone of Axios mouth will be eutrophic for nitrate (2.69–3.34M) and phosphate (0.2–0.68M) and upper mesotrophic for chlorophyll-a (0.74–1.45g/l) for the scenarios tested. The results suggest that the impact of the management scenarios will be largely negligible (no change in trophic status) for the Thermaikos Gulf sector nearby the Axios River due to additional sources such as the loads from Thessaloniki’swastewater treatment plant which appear to affect the region to a greater extent. The integration ofwatershed and coastal zone models can be used to assess management scenarios in order to illustrate the significance of various land use practices to the eutrophication of the Gulf.
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