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Project ID:2006NJ100B

Title: Nitrate removal in urban wetlands: examining the roles of vegetation, soils, and hydrology in the creation of "hot spots" and "hot moments" of denitrification

Project Type: Research

Start Date: 03/01/2006

End Date: 02/28/2007

Congressional District: 6th

Focus Categories: Nitrate Contamination, Water Supply, Hydrology

Keywords: urban hydrologic alterations, urban stream syndrome, channel morphology, nutrient removal, floodplain processes, eutrophication, floodplain hydrology, downcutting, overbank flooding, overbank flooding, hot spots, hot moments,

Principal Investigators: Palta, Monica Marie; Joan G. Ehrenfeld

Federal Funds: $5,000

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $10,893

Abstract: Provisions of abundant water, high soil fertility, and removal of excessive nutrients have made floodplain systems lucrative areas for settlement of human populations, and river floodplains have often been at the epicenter of agricultural and urban expansion. Metropolitan development increases the extent of impervious surface and thus the increases the volume of surface runoff entering urban waterways. The combined effect of urban hydrologic alterations results in an "urban stream syndrome", characterized by flashier hydrographs, elevated concentrations of nutrients and contaminants, altered channel morphology and stability, and reduced biotic richness. The ability of riparian floodplain areas to remove nutrients from surface water is of particular importance in the northeastern United States, where atmospheric N deposition is high. The phenomenon of "hydrologic drought" has been linked to riparian zones serving as sources rather than sinks for NO3- in urban watersheds. The study proposed here provides an opportunity to examine the factors mediating "hot spots" and "hot moments" of denitrification at a well-defined spatiotemporal scale.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Thursday, January 03, 2008
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