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Transport and Fate of Nitrate in the Streambed of a Low-Gradient Stream

Department of Geography, Geology, and the Environment, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Hydrology 2018, 5(4), 55;
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 21 September 2018 / Accepted: 3 October 2018 / Published: 4 October 2018
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The transport and fate of nitrate (NO3) to in the top 15 cm of a streambed has been well-documented, but an understanding of greater depths is limited. This work examines the transport and fate of nitrate (NO3) at depths of 30 cm, 60 cm, 90 cm, and 150 cm below the stream-streambed interface. Concentrations of nitrate as nitrogen (NO3-N) and chloride (Cl) were measured in the waters from the streambed, the stream water, and the groundwater. Mixing models predicted values of ΔNO3-N, the difference between measured NO3-N and theoretical NO3-N. At a 30-cm depth, the mean ΔNO3-N value was −0.25 mg/L, indicating a deficit of NO3-N and the removal of NO3-N from the system. At deeper levels, the values of ΔNO3-N began to approach zero, reaching a mean value of −0.07 mg/L at 150 cm. The reduction of NO3-N does not appear to be controlled by vegetation, as it was not correlated to either temperature or visible light. Larger negative ΔNO3-N values (more removal) occur when stream NO3-N concentrations are higher and organic matter is present. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater; mixing-model; nitrogen processing; streambed pore water; chloride groundwater; mixing-model; nitrogen processing; streambed pore water; chloride

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Peterson, E.W.; Hayden, K.M. Transport and Fate of Nitrate in the Streambed of a Low-Gradient Stream. Hydrology 2018, 5, 55.

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