In Western Australia, catchment nutrient availability on an areal basis is primarily controlled by the disposal of animal waste and the type and rate of fertilizer application, particularly in coastal areas. The coastal areas receive notably higher rainfall and have more intense horticulture and animal production than inland areas, and are undergoing rapid urbanization, particularly adjacent to the estuary. Also, the surficial aquifers on the coastal plain are generally sandy having a low nutrient retention capacity and rapidly transmit soluble and colloidal material through the subsurface. In the Swan-Canning basin, high air and soil temperatures and seasonally arid conditions cause rapid mineralization of nitrogen and phosphorus. The nutrients are subsequently available for transport during the onset of seasonal wet weather, which typically begins during the period from late April to June. In addition to the rapid mobility of nutrients in streamwater from agricultural areas during the wet season, drains in urban areas, which typically have high nutrient concentrations, also are an important source of nutrients as the drains flow directly to the estuary throughout the year.
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Nutrient concentrations and fluxes in tributaries to the Swan-Canning estuary, Western Australia
Houston, TX, United States
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Proceedings of the 1999 IUGG 99, the XXII General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics