Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2016AR388B

Characterization of nutrient sources, transport pathways, and transformations using stable isotope and geochemical tools in the Big Creek watershed of northwest Arkansas

Institute: Arkansas
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2017-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,068

Principal Investigators: Phil Hays, Erik Pollock, Kelly Sokolosky

Abstract: Growing agricultural use of land use of land in the Buffalo River watershed and the recent establishment of a concentrated animal-feeding operation (CAFO) near Big Creek have raised concern for degradation of water quality in the area. Agricultural land use, as well as residential and urban land use, has the potential to provide excess nutrients to watersheds in the form of phosphorus, nitrogen, and organic carbon. This proposed study aims to establish an isotopic reference database of nutrient sources in the Big Creek Watershed by sampling directly from possible sources, including septic system effluent, poultry, swine, and cattle manure, storm runoff, and agricultural runoff. Other objectives of the study involve include delineating nutrient sources and characterizing transport and transformations in the Big Creek watershed through analysis of nitrate, phosphate oxygen, and water isotopes, as well as general geochemical analyses.