I see some models described as simulating 'receiving water quality' and others as 'pollutant loading' models. What is the difference between loading and receiving models in this context?

I am more familiar with the 'pollutant loading' term because of its more widespread use, e.g. predicting pollutant loads, Total Maximum Daily Loads, EMC * flow = load. In this sense, loading is the buildup of pollutants which will flow out of a given area.

Given that my description of loading sounds like 'edge of field' pollution estimates, e.g. the amount of pollutants leaving the field but not necessarily how much pollutant will arrive at a downstream outlet, would receiving water quality models be predicting the 'at the outlet' pollution? Or, what a point downstream will receive based on phenomenon upstream?

If my description of a receiving model is correct, it sounds like loading and receiving is somewhat a matter of perspective. If I model Delaware River Basin and estimate pollution flowing out of it, that's a loading model, but if I have a receiving model of the Delaware Bay, isn't that the same thing? Are receiving models more focused on simulating pollutant transformations and in-river processes?


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