A conceptual hydrological model has been extended to incorporate empirical relationships permitting the prediction of storm event sulphate response in a small headwater catchment in Mid-Wales. Results from simulation of transient events have highlighted inadequacies in hydrological conceptualisation and a need for incorporation of preferential pathway and in-stream processes. This has led, for example, to an investigation into the effects of Sphagnum spp. which has enhanced process understanding and yielded a plausible explanation of performance mismatch. Specific additional data requirements permitting the further verification of empirical functions have been pinpointed. The modelling has thus been successfully used to refine field investigations as a basis for improved process understanding.

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