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The use of a GIS-based inventory to provide a national assessment of standing waters at risk from eutrophication in Great Britain

The use of a GIS-based inventory to provide a national assessment of standing waters at risk from eutrophication in Great Britain
The use of a GIS-based inventory to provide a national assessment of standing waters at risk from eutrophication in Great Britain

A three-tiered, hierarchical, risk-based prioritisation system was developed to assess the number of standing waters in Great Britain (GB) at risk from eutrophication. The scheme is based on four properties: importance, hazard, sensitivity to enrichment and sensitivity to recovery. Lake size, conservation status and legislative requirements were used to assess importance. The anthropogenic total phosphorus (P) load estimated from land cover, livestock and population data was used as a measure of the eutrophication hazard. Lakes with a retention time >3 days were considered to be sensitive to enrichment. The Wederburn depth (an estimate of the average summer thermocline depth) was used to predict the potential response of a lake to nutrient reduction. Lakes which were mainly stratified or fully stratified during the summer were expected to respond quickly to remediation. An initial Tier 1 risk assessment was made for all standing waters in GB (approximately 14,300 with surface area greater than 1 ha), using the four parameters derived from nationally available, GIS-based data sources held in the GB Lakes Inventory. Of the 2362 important lakes in GB, the system identified 1736 with low hazard but under potential threat because of their high sensitivity to enrichment. The system assessed that the ecology of 212 was likely to be damaged by eutrophication owing to high hazard and high sensitivity but with relatively poor chance of recovery following remediation. A further 332 lakes were considered to be damaged but were likely to respond to rehabilitation. In summary, the risk-based prioritisation system performed well and provides a useful tool for assessing standing waters at risk of eutrophication on a national basis. Inevitably, however, the need for nationally available datasets at Risk Tier 1 results in data resolution issues and errors may occur. The results highlight the importance of data validation using lake-specific information at Risk Tier 2.

Eutrophication, GIS, Great Britain standing waters, Phosphorus, Risk assessment
0048-9697
259-273
Bennion, Helen
75dad48f-1606-4254-981f-d79c65b67c35
Hilton, John
afa149ac-c1a8-4275-99df-28b1e2d067c9
Hughes, Mike
1064cbb3-8bd6-4ac0-8ae6-312bde4cf30a
Clark, Judy
530c803e-d122-4259-bcdc-890002c0f283
Hornby, Duncan
75cfaf57-72c1-4392-a78c-89b4b1033dca
Fozzard, Ian
98cb9bf6-a0ec-426a-bee8-7a64f2303ce5
Phillips, Geoff
7b4b2d6a-0358-4b7f-96c7-5dcf975840d2
Reynolds, Colin
56d6aa5c-de73-4558-9d86-73d214429299
Bennion, Helen
75dad48f-1606-4254-981f-d79c65b67c35
Hilton, John
afa149ac-c1a8-4275-99df-28b1e2d067c9
Hughes, Mike
1064cbb3-8bd6-4ac0-8ae6-312bde4cf30a
Clark, Judy
530c803e-d122-4259-bcdc-890002c0f283
Hornby, Duncan
75cfaf57-72c1-4392-a78c-89b4b1033dca
Fozzard, Ian
98cb9bf6-a0ec-426a-bee8-7a64f2303ce5
Phillips, Geoff
7b4b2d6a-0358-4b7f-96c7-5dcf975840d2
Reynolds, Colin
56d6aa5c-de73-4558-9d86-73d214429299

Bennion, Helen, Hilton, John, Hughes, Mike, Clark, Judy, Hornby, Duncan, Fozzard, Ian, Phillips, Geoff and Reynolds, Colin (2005) The use of a GIS-based inventory to provide a national assessment of standing waters at risk from eutrophication in Great Britain. Science of the Total Environment, 344 (1-3 SPEC. ISS.), 259-273. (doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2005.02.016).

Record type: Article

Abstract

A three-tiered, hierarchical, risk-based prioritisation system was developed to assess the number of standing waters in Great Britain (GB) at risk from eutrophication. The scheme is based on four properties: importance, hazard, sensitivity to enrichment and sensitivity to recovery. Lake size, conservation status and legislative requirements were used to assess importance. The anthropogenic total phosphorus (P) load estimated from land cover, livestock and population data was used as a measure of the eutrophication hazard. Lakes with a retention time >3 days were considered to be sensitive to enrichment. The Wederburn depth (an estimate of the average summer thermocline depth) was used to predict the potential response of a lake to nutrient reduction. Lakes which were mainly stratified or fully stratified during the summer were expected to respond quickly to remediation. An initial Tier 1 risk assessment was made for all standing waters in GB (approximately 14,300 with surface area greater than 1 ha), using the four parameters derived from nationally available, GIS-based data sources held in the GB Lakes Inventory. Of the 2362 important lakes in GB, the system identified 1736 with low hazard but under potential threat because of their high sensitivity to enrichment. The system assessed that the ecology of 212 was likely to be damaged by eutrophication owing to high hazard and high sensitivity but with relatively poor chance of recovery following remediation. A further 332 lakes were considered to be damaged but were likely to respond to rehabilitation. In summary, the risk-based prioritisation system performed well and provides a useful tool for assessing standing waters at risk of eutrophication on a national basis. Inevitably, however, the need for nationally available datasets at Risk Tier 1 results in data resolution issues and errors may occur. The results highlight the importance of data validation using lake-specific information at Risk Tier 2.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 23 March 2005
Published date: 15 May 2005
Keywords: Eutrophication, GIS, Great Britain standing waters, Phosphorus, Risk assessment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 433385
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/433385
ISSN: 0048-9697
PURE UUID: 2faa3d22-1870-46b4-be87-d7e47fdf4803
ORCID for Duncan Hornby: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6295-1360

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Date deposited: 15 Aug 2019 16:30
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:47

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Contributors

Author: Helen Bennion
Author: John Hilton
Author: Mike Hughes
Author: Judy Clark
Author: Duncan Hornby ORCID iD
Author: Ian Fozzard
Author: Geoff Phillips
Author: Colin Reynolds

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