Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015IN384B

Transport and Transformation of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Carbon in Intermittent Streams

Institute: Indiana
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $14,998 Total Non-Federal Funds: $30,020

Principal Investigators: Adam Ward, Todd Royer

Abstract: Nitrogen fertilization is a cornerstone of modern agriculture, but the practice also has led to eutrophication, hypoxia, harmful algal blooms and water quality degradation in both inland and coastal waters. Human impacts, additionally, alter loads of nitrogen and other nutrients (phosphorus, carbon) to surface waters. Nutrient export from and transformation within catchments is coupled to hydrological dynamics. The primary controls on nutrient (nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon) cycling remain poorly understood during variable flow conditions (e.g., storm events, droughts). Catchments are increasingly dynamic due to human activity (e.g., tile draining, channelization, impervious surface development), and climate change will amplify these dynamics. To predict water quality responses to changes in water quantity, an understanding of nutrient dynamics during variable hydrological conditions is required. Without a mechanistic understanding the coupled water quantity and quality dynamics of Indiana streams, the states water resources cannot be managed in the face of future uncertainty, nor strategically leveraged as a resource to bolster economic development.