Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 103, January 2015, Pages 14–24
By Jinliang Huang, Yaling Huang,Robert Gilmore Pontius Jr., and Zhenyu Zhang
- GWR reveals spatial variation in water pollution-land use linkages.
- Water pollution is associated more with built-up than with cropland or forest.
- More built-up is associated with more pollution for less urbanized sub-watersheds.
- Forest has a stronger negative association with pollution in urban sub-watersheds.
- Cropland has a weak association with water pollution among 21 sub-watersheds.
“Land use can influence river pollution and such relationships might or might not vary spatially. Conventional global statistics assume one relationship for the entire study extent, and are not designed to consider whether a relationship varies across space. We used geographically weighted regression to consider whether relationships between land use and water pollution vary spatially across a subtropical coastal watershed of Southeast China. Surface water samples of baseflow for seven pollutants were collected twelve times during 2010–2013 from headwater sub-watersheds. We computed 21 univariate regressions, which consisted of three regressions for each of the seven pollutants. Each of the three regressions considered one of three independent variables, i.e. the percent of the sub-watershed that was cropland, built-up, or forest.
“Cropland had a local R2 less than 0.2 for most pollutants, while it had a positive association with water pollution in the agricultural sub-watersheds and a negative association with water pollution in the non-agricultural sub-watersheds. Built-up had a positive association with all pollutants consistently across space, while the increase in pollution per increase in built-up density was largest in the sub-watersheds with low built-up density. The local R2 values were stronger with built-up than with cropland and forest. The local R2 values for built-up varied spatially, and the pattern of the spatial variation was not consistent among the seven pollutants. Forest had a negative association with most pollutants across space. Forest had a stronger negative association with water pollution in the urban sub-watersheds than in the agricultural sub-watersheds. This research provides an insight into land-water linkages, which we discuss with respect to other watersheds in the literature.”