University of Oulu

Khan, U. A., Postila, H., Kujala, K., Heiderscheidt, E., & Ronkanen, A.-K. (2022). Capability of HYDRUS wetland module to simulate flow and nitrogen removal processes in pilot-scale treatment peatlands under frost and no-frost conditions. Ecological Engineering, 184, 106790.

Capability of HYDRUS wetland module to simulate flow and nitrogen removal processes in pilot-scale treatment peatlands under frost and no-frost conditions

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Author: Khan, Uzair Akbar1; Postila, Heini1; Kujala, Katharina1;
Organizations: 1Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4300, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Freshwater Centre, Paavo Havaksen Tie 3, P.O. Box 413, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-12-07


The HYDRUS wetland module is widely used together with the biokinetic model CWM1 to simulate reactive transport of contaminants in constructed wetlands. However, this approach has not been used previously to simulate processes in peat-based wetlands operating in cold climates and treating mining-influenced water. In this study, the goal was to clarify changes in flow, transport, and nitrogen removal processes in cold climate treatment peatlands by assessing the performance of HYDRUS-CWM1. Flow and non-reactive transport of tracer, and reactive transport of ammonium, nitrite, and nitrate, in two pilot wetlands operated under controlled conditions representing frozen (winter) and frost-free (summer) periods were simulated. Model simulation outputs were compared against data obtained from the pilot wetlands and from a full-scale treatment peatland treating mining-influenced water in an Arctic region. Initial peaks in tracer concentration were simulated satisfactorily, but transformation and transport of nitrogen species in treatment peatlands, especially under partially frozen conditions, were modeled with only limited success. Limitations of the model and the assumptions made for the simulations have been discussed to highlight the challenges in modeling of treatment peatlands.

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Series: Ecological engineering
ISSN: 0925-8574
ISSN-E: 1872-6992
ISSN-L: 0925-8574
Volume: 184
Article number: 106790
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2022.106790
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: The work was mainly supported by a research grant from Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation. Additional funding was provided by the Academy of Finland (project 287397- Microbial transformations of arsenic and antimony in Northern natural peatlands treating mine waste waters) and Maa- ja vesitekniikan tuki r.y. The data from pilots and a part of data from real wetlands were collected within the Interreg Nord 2014-2020 project “Development, Evaluation and Optimization of Measures to Reduce the Impact on the Environment from Mining Activities in Northern Regions (Min-North, 2016-2018)”.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 287397
Detailed Information: 287397 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (