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N2O emissions from a nitrogen-enriched river

Environmental Science and Technology

By:
and
DOI: 10.1021/es980645n

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Abstract

Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from the South Platte River in Colorado were measured using closed chambers in the fall, winter, and summer of 1994- 1995. The South Platte River was enriched in inorganic N (9-800 ??M) derived from municipal wastewater effluent and groundwater return flows from irrigated agricultural fields. River water was as much as 2500% supersaturated with N2O, and median N2O emission rates from the river surface ranged from less than 90 to 32 600 ??g-N m-2 d-1. Seventy-nine percent of the variance in N2O emission rates was explained by concentrations of total inorganic N in river water and by water temperature. The estimated total annual N2O emissions from the South Platte River were 2 x 1013-6 x 1013 ??g-N yr-1. This amount of annual N2O emissions was similar to the estimated annual N2O emissions from all primary municipal wastewater treatment processes in the United States (1). Results from this study indicate that N-enriched rivers could be important anthropogenic sources of N2O to the atmosphere. However, N2O emission measurements from other N-enriched rivers are needed to better quantify this source.Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from the South Platte River in Colorado were measured using closed chambers in the fall, winter, and summer of 1994-1995. The South Platte River was enriched in inorganic N (9-800 ??M) derived from municipal wastewater effluent and groundwater return flows from irrigated agricultural fields. River water was as much as 2500% supersaturated with N2O, and median N2O emission rates from the river surface ranged from less than 90 to 32 600 ??g-N m-2 d-1. Seventy-nine percent of the variance in N2O emission rates was explained by concentrations of total inorganic N in river water and by water temperature. The estimated total annual N2O emissions from the South Platte River were 2??1013-6??1013 ??g-N yr-1. This amount of annual N2O emissions was similar to the estimated annual N2O emissions from all primary municipal wastewater treatment processes in the United States. Results from this study indicate that N-enriched rivers could be important anthropogenic sources of N2O to the atmosphere. However, N2O emission measurements from other N-enriched rivers are needed to better quantify this source.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
N2O emissions from a nitrogen-enriched river
Series title:
Environmental Science and Technology
DOI:
10.1021/es980645n
Volume
33
Issue:
1
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
ACS
Publisher location:
Washington, DC, United States
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Environmental Science and Technology
First page:
21
Last page:
25