Application of high-resolution telemetered sensor technology to develop conceptual models of catchment hydrogeological processes

Richard J. Cooper (Lead Author), Kevin M. Hiscock, Andrew A. Lovett, Stephen J. Dugdale, Gisela Sunnenberg, Nicholas L. Garrard, Faye N. Outram, Zanist Q. Hama-Aziz, Lister Noble, Melinda A. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Downloads (Pure)


Mitigating agricultural water pollution requires changes in land management practices and the implementation of on-farm measures to tackle the principal reasons for water quality failure. However, a paucity of robust empirical evidence on the hydrological functioning of river catchments can be a major constraint on the design of effective pollution mitigation strategies at the catchment-scale. In this regard, in 2010 the UK government established the Demonstration Test Catchment (DTC) initiative to evaluate the extent to which on-farm mitigation measures can cost-effectively reduce the impacts of agricultural water pollution on river ecology while maintaining food production capacity. A central component of the DTC platform has been the establishment of a comprehensive network of automated, web-based sensor technologies to generate high-temporal resolution empirical datasets of surface water, soil water, groundwater and meteorological parameters. In this paper, we demonstrate how this high-resolution telemetry can be used to improve our understanding of hydrological functioning and the dynamics of pollutant mobilisation and transport under a range of hydrometerological and hydrogeological conditions. Furthermore, we demonstrate how these data can be used to develop conceptual models of catchment hydrogeological processes and consider the implications of variable hydrological functioning on the performance of land management changes aimed at reducing agricultural water pollution.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100007
JournalJournal of Hydrology X
Early online date5 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • river
  • agriculture
  • soil moisture
  • groundwater
  • surface water
  • water pollution

Cite this