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Pretoria, South Africa

Rwasoka D.T.,Upper Manyame Subcatchment Council | Madamombe C.E.,Digby Wells Environmental | Gumindoga W.,Box MP | Kabobah A.T.,University of Energy and Natural Resources
Physics and Chemistry of the Earth | Year: 2014

Hydrologic modelling lies at the core of hydrology and water resources management. Attempts at gaining a holistic grasp on model robustness, hydrologic theory and processes have inadvertently led to models that are not-well structured or too complex to apply in arid and semi-arid catchments and in Africa, in particular. In view of this, this paper reports on the application of a monthly parsimonious hydrologic model in two catchments in Zimbabwe, the Nyatsime and Upper Save river catchments. The two (2) parameter monthly parsimonious GR2M model was applied. The inputs were rainfall and potential evapotranspiration. Measured discharge was used for calibration and validation. Calibration and uncertainty analysis were done using the Differential Evolution Adaptive Metropolis (DREAM) algorithm. The performance of the GR2M model was evaluated using ten (10) model performance metrics. Parameter indentifiability was analysed on the basis of the shape of the posterior distribution of parameters. Parameter and total uncertainty were analysed in the context of the formal Bayesian DREAM approach. The 10 performance evaluation metrics showed that the model performed satisfactorily during calibration and validation in terms of the overall fit of observed and simulated stream flows, low flows and the runoff volumes. The Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) was >0.85, the Kling-Gupta Efficiency (KGE) was >80% and Volume Efficiency was >59% during calibration. Slight performance drops were noted during validation except for the NSE in Nyatsime catchment whilst the KGE remained relatively high. The validation NSE was >0.65, the Kling-Gupta Efficiency (KGE) was >71% and Volume Efficiency was >55%. Calibrated parameters values showed good time-stability and were well identifiable with posterior parameter distributions having Gaussian shapes. Parameter uncertainty, in relation to total uncertainty was low. Parameter uncertainty constituted about 7% of the total uncertainty region. It was concluded that, although the model only had two parameters, the model performed quite satisfactorily in the simulation of monthly flows which makes it a good tool for operational hydrology and water resources modelling, planning and management especially in regions with inadequate data. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Molwantwa J.B.,Digby Wells Environmental | Rose P.D.,Rhodes University
Water SA | Year: 2013

Where sulphate removal is targeted in the biological treatment of acid mine drainage wastewaters, a step additional to sulphate reduction is required to prevent the complete oxidation of sulphide back to sulphate. This linearisation of the biological sulphur cycle has presented a technological bottleneck, particularly in passive treatment operations. We report an investigation of sulphur production in floating sulphur biofilms as a means for addressing this problem. These 50 μm to 500 μm structures may be seen to form on the surface of sulphidic, organic waters and in which sulphide is partly oxidised to So and polysulphide. A Linear Flow Channel Reactor was developed in which the formation of the floating sulphur biofilm could be optimised and studied under controlled conditions. In this study the sulphide feed was sourced from a lignocellulose packed bed reactor treating a synthetic acid mine water (2 000 mg·ℓ-1 Na2SO4 solution) and the Liner Flow Channel Reactors (surface area 1.1 m2 and 2.2 m2) were operated in a controlled environment chamber. The floating sulphur biofilm was harvested by settling to the bottom of the reactor where it remained largely unreacted until removed. It was shown that up to 88% of sulphide in the feed stream may be removed in this way and that this was achieved mainly by oxidation of sulphide to sulphur (including a polysulphide fraction). A mass balance accounting for the process showed that up to 66% of total sulphur species entering the system were recovered as So. Oxidation of sulphide to thiosulphate and sulphate was not found to be significant. A fraction of fine particulate sulphur is released into the stream on harvesting of the biofilm which does not readily settle in the reactor and may thus be lost to the mass balance account. The effects of temperature, loading rate and reactor surface area were investigated in optimising the performance of the reactor. Scale-up application studies in the use of the Linear Flow Channel Reactor in an acid mine drainage passive treatment environment have been undertaken in field studies.

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