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High frequency dataset for event-scale concentration-discharge analysis

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Created: Dec 07, 2020 at 3:26 p.m.
Last updated: Sep 27, 2021 at 4:11 p.m.
DOI: 10.4211/hs.27c93a3f4ee2467691a1671442e047b8
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This composite repository contains high-frequency data of discharge, electrical conductivity, nitrate-N, spectral absorbance at 254 nm and water temperature obtained in four neighboring catchments in the Harz mountains, Germany.
The repository contains four files - one for each catchment (WB - Warme Bode, RB - Rappbode, HS - Hassel, SK - Selke). Details on the catchments can be found here: WB - Kong et a.(2019), RV - Werner et al. (2019), HS and SK - Musolff et al. (2015)
Data for the SK catchment is part of the TERENO initiative (
Each file states measurements for each timestep using the following columns: "index" (number of observation),"Date.Time" (timestamp in YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS), "WT" (water temperature in degree celsius), "" (discharge in mm/d), "Q.smooth" ( discharge in mm/d smoothed using moving average),"EC.smooth" (electrical conductivity in µS/cm smoothed using moving average), "NO3.smooth" (NO3-N concentrations in mg N/L smoothed using moving average), "SAC.smooth" (spectral absorbance at 254 nm in 1/m, smoothed using moving average); NA - no data

Water quality data and discharge was measured at a high-frequency interval of 15 min in the time period between January 2013 and December 2014. Both, NO3-N and SAC were measured using in-situ UV-VIS probes (TRIOS ProPS, Trios Germany in WB, HS and SK; s::can spectrolyser, scan Austria in RB). EC was measured using in-situ probes (YSI6800, YSI, USA for WB, HS and SK; CTD Diver, Van Essen Canada for RB). Discharge measurements were provided by the state authorities [LHW, 2018] (for WB, HS and SK) or relied on an established stage-discharge relationship (RB, Werner et al. [2019]). Data loggers were maintained every two weeks, including manual cleaning of the UV-VIS probes and grab sampling for subsequent calibration and validation.

Data preparation included five steps: drift corrections, outlier detection, gap filling, calibration and moving averaging:
- Drift was corrected by distributing the offset between mean values one hour before and after cleaning equally among the two weeks maintenance interval as an exponential growth.
- Outliers were detected with a two-step procedure. First, values outside a physically unlikely range were removed. Second, the Grubbs test, to detect and remove outliers, was applied to a moving window of 100 values.
- Data gaps smaller than two hours were filled using cubic spline interpolation.
- The resulting time series were globally calibrated against the lab measured concentration of NO3-N (all stations) and SAC254 (all stations but SK). Here, average probe values one hour before and after sampling were used. EC was calibrated against field values obtained with a handheld WTW probe (WTW Multi 430, Xylem Analytics Germany) for RB while YSI-probe values for WB, HS and SK have been regularly calibrated in field making later corrections obsolete.
- Noise in the signal of both discharge and water quality was reduced by a moving average between 2.5 and 6 hours.

Kong, X. Z., Q. Zhan, B. Boehrer, and K. Rinke (2019), High frequency data provide new insights into evaluating and modeling nitrogen retention in reservoirs, Water Res, 166, 115017.
LHW (2018), Datenportal Gewaesserkundlicher Landesdienst Sachsen-Anhalt (GLD), Landesbetrieb fuer Hochwasserschutz und Wasserwirtschaft Sachsen-Anhalt. accessed 2018-08-15
Musolff, A., C. Schmidt, B. Selle, and J. H. Fleckenstein (2015), Catchment controls on solute export, Advances in Water Resources, 86, 133-146.
Werner, B. J., A. Musolff, O. J. Lechtenfeld, G. H. de Rooij, M. R. Oosterwoud, and J. H. Fleckenstein (2019), High-frequency measurements explain quantity and quality of dissolved organic carbon mobilization in a headwater catchment, Biogeosciences, 16(22), 4497-4516.

Subject Keywords



Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:
WGS 84 EPSG:4326
Coordinate Units:
Decimal degrees
Place/Area Name:
Study Area
North Latitude
East Longitude
South Latitude
West Longitude


Start Date:
End Date:


Related Resources

The content of this resource can be executed by An R code for event analysis of concentration-discharge relationships and hysteresis



People or Organizations that contributed technically, materially, financially, or provided general support for the creation of the resource's content but are not considered authors.

Name Organization Address Phone Author Identifiers
Michael Rode UFZ - Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research GmbH Brückstrasse 3a, 39114 Magdeburg, Germany
Xiangzhen Kong UFZ - Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research GmbH Brückstrasse 3a, 39114 Magdeburg, Germany
Karsten Rinke UFZ - Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research GmbH Brückstrasse 3a, 39114 Magdeburg, Germany
Qing Zhan Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)

How to Cite

Musolff, A. (2021). High frequency dataset for event-scale concentration-discharge analysis, HydroShare,

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.


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