National Research Program


Organic Nitrogen and Organic Carbon in Hydrologic Systems

Although the fate, transport, and reactivity of dissolved organic nitrogen have been overshadowed by nitrogen cycling studies that focus on inorganic nitrogen, dissolved organic nitrogen is of increasing concern because of its role as a nutrient, a possible cause of eutrophication, and its potential to react with disinfectants to form nitrogenous disinfection by-products.  The chemistry of dissolved organic nitrogen is complicated because of the multiple forms of organic nitrogen including both labile and recalcitrant forms.  The objective of this project is to understand the fundamental properties of dissolved organic nitrogen in relation to its role in water quality, eutrophication, and disinfection processes.  Dissolved organic nitrogen will be investigated in surface waters.  Forest fires contribute organic carbon and nitrogen to surface waters.  Biomass will be charred under controlled conditions, leached with water, and the organic carbon and nitrogen in these leachates characterized.  These studies will provide information on water quality effects from forest fires and incorporation of biochar into soils to enhance soil fertility. For additional information about this project, see project page: Organic Nitrogen and Organic Carbon in Hydrologic Systems.

REPORTS PUBLISHED 2007-2012

Rostad, C.E., and Rutherford, D.W., 2011, Biochar for soil fertility and natural carbon sequestration: U.S. Geological Survey, Fact Sheet 2011, 2 p. (on-line abstract or on-line fact sheet in pdf format, 2.3 MB)

Rostad, C.E., Schmitt, C.J., Schumacher, J.G., Leiker, T.J., 2011, An exploratory investigation of polar organic compounds in waters from a lead-zinc mine and mill complex: Water, Air and Soil Pollution, v. 217, p. 431-443. (on-line abstract or on-line article in pdf format, 356 KB, published by Springer, U.S. government copyright)

Iko, W.M., Berven, J., Baeten, L.A., Rostad, C.E., Rutherford, D.W., Otten, C.J., and Winter, P., 2010, Adverse effects to Northern Shovelers from exposure to treated wastewater from Central Front Range, Colorado, wastewater treatment plants: U.S. Geological Survey Administrative Report, 37 pages. (on-line administrative report in pdf format, 3.78 MB)

Rostad, C.E., 2010, Analysis of solvent dyes in refined petroleum products by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry: Fuel, v. 89, no. 5, p. 997-1005. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Rostad, C.E., and Sanford, W.E., 2009, Polar organic compounds in pore waters of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure, Eyreville core hole: Character of the dissolved organic carbon and comparison with drilling fluids, in Gohn, G.S., Koeberl, C., Miller, K.G., and Reimold, W.U., eds., The ICDP-USGS Deep Drilling Project in the Chesapeake Bay Impact Structure: Results from the Eyreville Core Holes: GSA Special Paper 458, p. 891-904.

Hostettler, F.D., Bekins, B.A., Rostad, C.E., and Herkelrath, W.N., 2008, Response to Commentary on Observed Methanogenic Biodegradation Progressions: Environmental Forensics, v. 9, p. 121–126.

Leenheer, J.A., Izbicki, J.A., Rostad, C.E., Noyes, T.I., and Woodside, G., 2008, Discovery of cyanuric acid during an assessment of natural organic matter in stormflow water of the Santa Ana River, southern California, 2003–2004: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007–5048, 13 p. (on-line abstract or on-line report in pdf format, 1.1 MB)

Reeves, III, J. B., McCarty, G. W., Rutherford, D.W., and Wershaw, R.L., 2008,  Mid-infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopic (DRIFTS) examination of charred pine wood, bark cellulose and lignin: implications for the quantitative determination of charcoal in soils: Applied Spectroscopy, v. 62, no. 2, 182-189. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Rutherford, D.W., Wershaw, R.L., and Reeves III, J.B., 2008, Development of acid functional groups and lactones during the thermal degradation of wood and wood components: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5013, 43 p. (on-line abstract or on-line report in pdf format, 3.8 MB)

Hostettler, F.D., Wang, Y., Huang, Y., Cao, W., Bekins, B.A., Rostad, C.E., Kulpa, C.F., and Laursen, A., 2007, Forensic fingerprinting of oil-spill hydrocarbons in a methanogenic environment--Mandan, ND and Bemidji, MN: Environmental Forensics, v. 8, p. 139-153. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Reeves, III, J. B., McCarty, G. W., Rutherford, D. W., and  Wershaw, R.L., 2007, Near-infrared spectroscopic examination of charred pine wood, bark, cellulose and lignin: Implications for the quantitative determination of charcoal in soils by NIRS: Journal of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy, v. 15, p. 307-315. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Rostad, C.E., 2007, Studies on disinfection by-products and drinking water: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2004-3032. (on-line fact sheet in pdf format, 1.08 MB)

Rostad, C.E., and Daniel, S.R., 2007, Distribution of selected organic compounds among suspended particulate, colloid and aqueous phases in the Mississippi River and selected tributaries: Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, v. 53, p. 151-158. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Rostad, C.E., and Hostettler, F.D., 2007, Profiling refined hydrocarbon fuels using polar components: Environmental Forensics, v. 8, p. 129-137 (on-line abstract of journal article).

For bibliographic citations by Colleen Rostad or David Rutherford prior to 2007, see Comprehensive Organic Analysis of Water

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS PROJECT, CONTACT:
Colleen E. Rostad (professional profile)
U.S. Geological Survey, P.O. Box 25046, ms408, Denver Federal Center, Lakewood, CO
Email: cerostad@usgs.gov
Telephone: 303-236-3971

David W. Rutherford
U.S. Geological Survey, P.O. Box 25046, ms408, Denver Federal Center, Lakewood, CO
Email: dwruther@usgs.gov
Telephone: 303-236-3978

For information on additional projects in the National Research Program, see Indexes to NRP projects and bibliographies.

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