CAMELS-Chem: augmenting CAMELS (Catchment Attributes and Meteorology for Large-sample Studies) with atmospheric and stream water chemistry data

Gary Sterle, Julia Perdrial, Dustin W. Kincaid, Kristen L. Underwood, Donna M. Rizzo, Ijaz Ul Haq, Li Li, Byung Suk Lee, Thomas Adler, Hang Wen, Helena Middleton, Adrian A. Harpold

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Large sample datasets are transforming the catchment sciences, but there are few off-the-shelf stream water chemistry datasets with complementary atmospheric deposition, streamflow, meteorology, and catchment physiographic attributes. The existing CAMELS (Catchment Attributes and Meteorology for Large-sample Studies) dataset includes data on topography, climate, streamflow, land cover, soil, and geology across the continental US. With CAMELS-Chem, we pair these existing attribute data for 516 catchments with atmospheric deposition data from the National Atmospheric Deposition Program and water chemistry and instantaneous discharge data from the US Geological Survey over the period from 1980 through 2018 in a relational database and corresponding dataset. The data include 18 common stream water chemistry constituents: Al, Ca, Cl, dissolved organic carbon, total organic carbon, HCO3, K, Mg, Na, total dissolved N, total organic N, NO3, dissolved oxygen, pH (field and lab), Si, SO4, and water temperature. Annual deposition loads and concentrations include hydrogen, NH4, NO3, total inorganic N, Cl, SO4, Ca, K, Mg, and Na. We demonstrate that CAMELS-Chem water chemistry data are sampled effectively across climates, seasons, and discharges for trend analysis and highlight the coincident sampling of stream constituents for process-based understanding. To motivate their use by the larger scientific community across a variety of disciplines, we show examples of how these publicly available datasets can be applied to trend detection and attribution, biogeochemical process understanding, and new hypothesis generation via data-driven techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-630
Number of pages20
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 13 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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