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Factors Affecting Phosphorous in Groundwater in an Alluvial Valley Aquifer: Implications for Best Management Practices
Stockholm Environment Institute, US Center, 400 F Street, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 33446 Research Drive, Painter, VA 23420, USA
Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 206 Riley-Robb Hall Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California at Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 February 2013; in revised form: 10 April 2013 / Accepted: 11 April 2013 / Published: 2 May 2013
Abstract: Many streams in the US are impaired because of high Soluble Reactive Phosphorous (SRP) contributions from agriculture. However, the drivers of ecological processes that lead to SRP loss in baseflow from groundwater are not sufficiently understood to design effective Best Management Practices (BMPs). In this paper, we examine how soil temperature and water table depth influence the SRP concentrations in groundwater for a dairy farm in a valley bottom in the Catskills (NY, USA). Measured SRP concentrations in groundwater and baseflow were greater during the fall, when soil temperatures are warmer, than during winter and spring. The observed concentrations were within the bounds predicted by groundwater temperatures using the Arrhenius equation, except during fall, when concentrations rose above these predictions. These elevated concentrations were likely caused by mineralization and consequent accumulation of phosphorous (P) in summer. In addition, SRP concentrations were greater in near-stream areas, where water tables where higher. In short, SRP concentrations are dependent on temperature, demonstrating the importance of understanding the underlying mechanism of ecological processes. In addition, results suggest BMPs that apply manure on land having a deep groundwater, instead of on land with a shallow water table will lower overall SRP contributions.
Keywords: soluble reactive Phosphorous; groundwater; baseflow; Arrhenius; temperature; Catskill Mountains; water table
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Flores-López, F.; Easton, Z.M.; Geohring, L.D.; Vermeulen, P.J.; Haden, V.R.; Steenhuis, T.S. Factors Affecting Phosphorous in Groundwater in an Alluvial Valley Aquifer: Implications for Best Management Practices. Water 2013, 5, 540-559.
Flores-López F, Easton ZM, Geohring LD, Vermeulen PJ, Haden VR, Steenhuis TS. Factors Affecting Phosphorous in Groundwater in an Alluvial Valley Aquifer: Implications for Best Management Practices. Water. 2013; 5(2):540-559.
Flores-López, Francisco; Easton, Zachary M.; Geohring, Larry D.; Vermeulen, Peter J.; Haden, Van R.; Steenhuis, Tammo S. 2013. "Factors Affecting Phosphorous in Groundwater in an Alluvial Valley Aquifer: Implications for Best Management Practices." Water 5, no. 2: 540-559.