Articles | Volume 11
13 Jun 2007
13 Jun 2007

Application of two phosphorus models with different complexities in a mesoscale river catchment

B. Guse, A. Bronstert, M. Rode, B. Tetzlaff, and F. Wendland

Abstract. The water balance and phosphorus inputs of surface waters of the Weiße Elster catchment, Germany, have been quantified using the models GROWA/MEPhos and SWAT. A comparison of the model results shows small differences in the mean long-term total runoff for the entire study area. All relevant pathways of phosphorus transport were considered in MEPhos with phosphorus inputs resulting to about 65% from point sources. SWAT focuses on agricultural areas and estimates a phosphorus input of about 60% through erosion. The mean annual phosphorus input from erosion calculated with SWAT is six times higher than the estimation with MEPhos due to the differing model concepts. This shows the uncertainty contributed by the modelling description of phosphorus pathways.