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Effectiveness of riparian buffers in controlling ground-water discharge of nitrate to streams in selected hydrogeologic settings of the North Carolina Coastal Plain

Water Science and Technology

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Abstract

Water-quality and hydrologic information were collected along ground-water flow paths from two well-drained and two poorly drained Coastal Plain settings in North Carolina to evaluate the relative effectiveness of riparian buffers in reducing discharge of nitrate to streams. At one well-drained site with a 100 m buffer, little or no effect was detected on surface-water quality by discharging ground water because extensive woody vegetation in the buffer was able to take up not only most nitrate, but also most ground water before discharging to the stream during the growing season (March-October). At the second well-drained site, ground water discharging to the stream from the side with a buffer contained about 2 mg/L of nitrate-nitrogen after passing through the bed of the stream compared to 6 mg/L in ground water discharging from the side with no buffer. In the poorly drained settings, nitrate in ground water decreased from about 6 mg/L in the recharge area to less than 0.02 mg/L downgradient from the riparian buffer. Ground water discharging from the side with no buffer contained 0.83 mg/L. Riparian buffers appear effective in reducing nitrate in ground water discharging to Coast Plain streams. ?? US Government 2004.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Effectiveness of riparian buffers in controlling ground-water discharge of nitrate to streams in selected hydrogeologic settings of the North Carolina Coastal Plain
Series title:
Water Science and Technology
Volume
49
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2004
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Water Science and Technology
First page:
63
Last page:
70
Number of Pages:
8