THE EFFECTS OF LAND-USE/LAND-COVER, GEOMORPHOLOGY, AND CLIMATE ON THE MAGNITUDE AND TIMING OF NITROGEN, PHOSPHORUS, ORGANIC CARBON, AND SUSPENDED SEDIMENT CONCENTRATIONS IN THREE COASTAL PLAIN WATERSHEDS

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Abstract:

In-stream nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), organic carbon (OC), and total suspended sediment (TSS) concentrations were measured in 18 sub-basins over two annual cycles to assess how landuse/ land-cover (LULC) and geomorphology regulate water quality variables. Eighteen stations, representing the pour-point of each sub-basin, were visited 40 times during the study and water samples were collected and analyzed for TSS and the suite of particulate and dissolved, inorganic and organic components of N, P, and C. A watershed hydrology model was used to estimate daily flows in ungauged sub-basins while an empirical multiple regression model was implemented to calculate daily in-stream constituent concentrations. Spatial variability among the stations was assessed using a principal component analysis and ANOVAs. Stream flow rate was shown to be a major factor that dictates not only the magnitude of constituent concentrations but also the chemical species of the constituents that are present. Behavior of constituent concentrations through time over the two-year period indicates that constituents were generally in synchrony on seasonal scales but the magnitudes of change in constituent concentrations are highly variable. While high variability were observed in these data, clear patterns of sediment and nutrient concentrations related to biophysical aspects of the watershed landscape and aquatic biogeochemical N, P, and C processing were observed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864704784132751

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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