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Merging patterns and processes of diffuse pollution in urban watersheds: A connectivity assessment

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Abstract Urban diffuse pollution affects water resources as much as its rural counterpart does; however, it is considerably less studied. The full complexity of the urban landscape needs to be addressed to apprehend the diversity of surface layouts and covers, multiple pollution sources, and the diverse changes caused by different types of drainage systems. In this article, crucial patterns of pollution source areas are categorized, and current knowledge on their temporal and spatial variations are collated. Urban alterations of transport processes that enhance, delay, or inhibit diffuse pollution transport from source areas through the urban watershed are detailed. Current knowledge regarding diffuse pollution patterns and processes is conceptually merged by the simultaneous assessment of urban structural and functional connectivity relevant for pollutant transfer. Applying a more holistic approach is considered a prerequisite for identifying critical source areas of diffuse pollution within complex urban catchments, to minimize the transfer of particular harmful pollutants and to enhance future management of urban waters. This article is categorized under: Engineering Water > Engineering Water
(a) Centralized versus (b) decentralized approaches for urban drainage (red line: drainage network, red arrows: storm‐water outlet points into rivers, blue arrows: street runoff, infiltration, and evapotranspiration)
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Buffers, barriers, and boosters of urban diffuse pollution: (a) swale directly after rain event, (b) blocked gully, and (c) rain gutter and storm‐water outlet
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Two scenarios illustrating the different spatial extents of urban variable contributing areas for a (a) small and (b) large rainfall event (shades of blue) and associated potential to transport pollutants
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Concurrency dynamics of pollutant accumulation and hydrological and pollutant connectivity as a function of rainfall‐runoff response and management routines (reprinted with permission from Bracken, Turnbull, Wainwright, and Bogaart (2016)
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Spatial source area patterns that dominate or influence urban diffuse pollution: (a–d) pollution patterns that accumulate, (e–f) static pollution patterns, (g) management routines affecting pollution patterns, and (h–j) hydrologically relevant patterns—(h) degree and type of sealing, (i) antecedent moisture pattern, and (j) slope. Pink shading shows the extent and magnitude of the different pollution patterns (except it depicts the degree of sealing in h) and the slope magnitude in (i). Gray shading in (j) shows the magnitude of soil moisture
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End‐of‐pipe sampling of diffuse pollution at storm‐water outlets in urban catchment
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