Validation of catchment-scale contaminant transport models using stable isotopes and multi-element Measurements, 1.1.2023-31.12.2025, Radmila Milačič

In the proposed project, we aim at refining and adjusting catchment-scale emission and transport models based on an extensive sampling and measurement campaign executed in two pilot catchments. Both the Koppány (Hungary) and the Ledava (Slovenia) catchments are characterized by significant anthropogenic activities (agricultural activities as well as the introduction of wastewaters into rivers). The methodology is based on traditional hydrological and basic chemical (i.e. basic ions and nutrients) measurements, extended with the measurement of parameters having fingerprint properties: potentially toxic elements (PTEs), rare earth elements (REE), ions and forms of nutrients, stable and radionuclide isotopes, which will be will be useful in tracing their spreading. The data obtained will be used to validate catchment scale emission models. The improved models will be able to perform scenario analyses and can serve as promising decision-making tools in watershed management.

The proposed project will significantly improve the understanding of surface and groundwater pollutant transport in the Ledava River basin in Slovenia, which is relatively unexplored. Based on the results of the project, we will obtain additional information about the sources and transport of pollutants through field measurements, which will be supported by modeling the processes of pollutant transport. For Prekmurje, where intensive agriculture takes place and nitrates are a major problem, there is a lack of data with the exception of nitrates and the occurrence of other pollutants in the groundwater, the project will significantly contribute to new knowledge of emission pathways and transport of pollutants in the Ledava basin. The results will be included in the set of data collected by the Environment Agency of the Republic of Slovenia and will be used to implement measures to improve the state of water quality and support agricultural and development programs in Prekmurje. We will also inform the residents of Prekmurje about the results of the project and make them aware of the importance of protecting water sources and drinking water catchments for Prekmurje.




Sampling of Ledava River basin in Slovenia

The research program will be implemented in collaboration with the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Department of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering (BME-DSEE), and Jožef Stefan Institute, Department of Environmental Sciences (JSI-DES). The field of expertise represented by the two institutions is complementary.


Hungarian team:

Budapest University of Technology and Economics

Adrienne Clement

Zsolt Jolánkai

Máté Krisztián Kardos

Institute for Geological and Geochemical Research

Zoltán Kern

Centre of Enviromental Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University

István Gábor Hatvani


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Slovenian team:

Department of Environmental Sciences, Jožef Stefan Institute

Radmila Milačič

Janez Ščančar

Katarina Marković

Stefan Marković

Sonja Lojen

Polona Vreča

David Kocman

Stojan Žigon