Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2020, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (6): 881-907.doi: 10.1007/s11442-020-1760-5

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A review of mass flux monitoring and estimation methods for biogeochemical interface processes in watersheds

LU Yao1,2, GAO Yang1,2,*(), YANG Tiantian3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, United States
  • Received:2019-09-20 Accepted:2020-03-10 Online:2020-06-25 Published:2020-08-25
  • Contact: GAO Yang
  • About author:Lu Yao (1995–), MS Candidate, specialized in ecological hydrology. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    The Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment(No.2017ZX07101001);National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.41871080)


The magnitude of mass flux is closely associated with biogeochemical watershed processes, which can generate a considerable amount of pertinent information. Moreover, both the accuracy and precision of mass flux estimation results directly affects the perception of the ecological environmental status, which in turn affects both the formulation and implementation of river basin management planning. In practical applications, the true value of flux is unknown and can only be estimated. Flux results obtained using different monitoring and estimation methods also differ significantly. However, in existing studies on mass flux associated with biogeochemical watershed interfaces, the application of monitoring and estimation methods lacks uniform criteria or references. Accordingly, this study summarizes and deconstructs results from recent studies on biogeochemical watershed interface processes and compares the advantages, disadvantages and applicability of the monitoring and estimation methods used by these studies. This particular study is intended to be used as a reference for the selection of flux calculation methods.

Key words: flux, basin, monitoring, estimation, biogeochemical cycle