Decadal oscillations of the aquatic chemistry of river waters in Latvia
Water quality changes of surface waters can be used to assess human impact intensity, but of importance is to consider also impacts of climate change/variability and naturally occurring changes of environmental quality. In Latvia, during the recent decades a major reduction of anthropogenic pressure has happened due to restructuring of economy and industrial production, resulting in major decrease of loading of many groups of pollutants. However, trends and driving factors for other groups of substances have not been much studied. Long term (1980–2012) results of hydrochemical monitoring, performed in rivers of Latvia, are analysed during this study in connection with long-term sets of hydrological and heliophysical data, using standard statistical approaches. Our results indicate that variation of some hydrochemical values, for example COD and total Fe, show clearly visible decadal oscillated character, while variation of some other values, for example phosphate P and total P, show some individual characteristics of decadal oscillations. These results indicate the presence of a large scale, geochemical and geophysical significant process: multiannual pulse of catchment, driven by variation of solar irradiance through complex interactions between global atmospheric circulation, groundwater and surface waterbodies. The process described in our study is significant from a geochemical point of view and must be taken into account in prediction of water quality and quantity. Impacts of natural processes should be considered in the planning of environmental policy.