Afon Hafren - United Kingdom
Parent Site Name
UK Upland Waters Monitoring Network (UK UWMN) site. The Afon Hafren lies in the Cambrian Mountains of mid-Wales and from its confluence with the Afon Hore forms the headwaters of the River Severn. The catchment area is 358 ha and rises from 355 m at the sampling station to 690 m at Blaenhafren. Stagnoodsols cover approximately 40% of the catchment and organic peaty soils comprise the remaining area. The underlying geology consists of Ordovician grits and Silurian mudstones and shales. Fifty percent of the catchment is planted with conifers, primarily Sitka and Norway spruce, and forms part of the larger Hafren Forest; planting took place primarily between 1948-1950 and 1963-1964. At the start of monitoring about 5% of the catchment consisted of recently felled forest. Since that time there has been steady harvesting and replanting of large areas continuing right up to the present day though this appears to have had little impact on stream water chemistry. Moorland grasses and Calluna occupy the remainder of the catchment and are utilised for rough grazing. Prior to afforestation the catchment was exploited as upland sheepwalk. Rainfall is c. 2500 mm annually. Some data are managed by UK ECN Data Centre. Note: The area is the size of the catchment. Note that Afon Hafren is within the Plynlimon Experimental Catchments (see http://data.lter-europe.net/deims/site/EXPEER-UK-02).
General Characteristics, Purpose, History
Originally part of a network monitoring the quality of acid waters in the UK. Now the purpose is to track changes in surface water quality and freshwater biodiversity across all upland regions of the UK, not only those sensitive to acid deposition. The aim is to monitor the separate and combined impacts of all principal pressures facing upland waters, including acid deposition, nutrient-N deposition, climate change, toxic substance contamination and land-use change.
Affiliation and Network Specific Information