The MARINA model (Model to Assess River Inputs of Nutrients to seAs) : Model description and results for China

Strokal, Maryna; Kroeze, Carolien; Wang, Mengru; Bai, Zhaohai; Ma, Lin


Chinese agriculture has been developing fast towards industrial food production systems that discharge nutrient-rich wastewater into rivers. As a result, nutrient export by rivers has been increasing, resulting in coastal water pollution. We developed a Model to Assess River Inputs of Nutrients to seAs (MARINA) for China. The MARINA Nutrient Model quantifies river export of nutrients by source at the sub-basin scale as a function of human activities on land. MARINA is a downscaled version for China of the Global NEWS-2 (Nutrient Export from WaterSheds) model with an improved approach for nutrient losses from animal production and population. We use the model to quantify dissolved inorganic and organic nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) export by six large rivers draining into the Bohai Gulf (Yellow, Hai, Liao), Yellow Sea (Yangtze, Huai) and South China Sea (Pearl) in 1970, 2000 and 2050. We addressed uncertainties in the MARINA Nutrient model. Between 1970 and 2000 river export of dissolved N and P increased by a factor of 2-8 depending on sea and nutrient form. Thus, the risk for coastal eutrophication increased. Direct losses of manure to rivers contribute to 60-78% of nutrient inputs to the Bohai Gulf and 20-74% of nutrient inputs to the other seas in 2000. Sewage is an important source of dissolved inorganic P, and synthetic fertilizers of dissolved inorganic N. Over half of the nutrients exported by the Yangtze and Pearl rivers originated from human activities in downstream and middlestream sub-basins. The Yellow River exported up to 70% of dissolved inorganic N and P from downstream sub-basins and of dissolved organic N and P from middlestream sub-basins. Rivers draining into the Bohai Gulf are drier, and thus transport fewer nutrients. For the future we calculate further increases in river export of nutrients. The MARINA Nutrient model quantifies the main sources of coastal water pollution for sub-basins. This information can contribute to formulation of effective management options to reduce nutrient pollution of Chinese seas in the future.