Short-term variability in stream water dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations is controlled by hydrology, climate and atmospheric deposition. Using the Riparian flow-concentration Integration Model (RIM), we evaluated factors controlling stream water DOC in the Swedish Integrated Monitoring (IM) catchments by separating out hydrological effects on stream DOC dynamics. Model residuals were correlated with climate and deposition-related drivers. DOC was most strongly correlated to water flow in the northern catchment (Gammtratten). The southern Aneboda and Kindla catchments had pronounced seasonal DOC signals, which correlated weakly to flow. DOC concentrations at Gårdsjön increased, potentially in response to declining acid deposition. Soil temperature correlated strongly with model residuals at all sites. Incorporating soil temperature in RIM improved model performance substantially (20–62% lower median absolute error). According to the simulations, the RIM conceptualization of riparian processes explains between 36% (Kindla) and 61% (Aneboda) of the DOC dynamics at the IM sites.
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