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Phosphorus and nitrogen concentrations and loads at Illinois River south of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, 1997-1999

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2001-4217

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Abstract

Water-quality sampling consisting of every other month (bimonthly) routine sampling and storm event sampling (six storms annually) is used to estimate annual phosphorus and nitrogen loads at Illinois River south of Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Hydrograph separation allowed assessment of base-flow and surfacerunoff nutrient relations and yield. Discharge and nutrient relations indicate that water quality at Illinois River south of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, is affected by both point and nonpoint sources of contamination. Base-flow phosphorus concentrations decreased with increasing base-flow discharge indicating the dilution of phosphorus in water from point sources. Nitrogen concentrations increased with increasing base-flow discharge, indicating a predominant ground-water source. Nitrogen concentrations at higher base-flow discharges often were greater than median concentrations reported for ground water (from wells and springs) in the Springfield Plateau aquifer. Total estimated phosphorus and nitrogen annual loads for calendar year 1997-1999 using the regression techniques presented in this paper (35 samples) were similar to estimated loads derived from integration techniques (1,033 samples). Flow-weighted nutrient concentrations and nutrient yields at the Illinois River site were about 10 to 100 times greater than national averages for undeveloped basins and at North Sylamore Creek and Cossatot River (considered to be undeveloped basins in Arkansas). Total phosphorus and soluble reactive phosphorus were greater than 10 times and total nitrogen and dissolved nitrite plus nitrate were greater than 10 to 100 times the national and regional averages for undeveloped basins. These results demonstrate the utility of a strategy whereby samples are collected every other month and during selected storm events annually, with use of regression models to estimate nutrient loads. Annual loads of phosphorus and nitrogen estimated using regression techniques could provide similar results to estimates using integration techniques, with much less investment.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Phosphorus and nitrogen concentrations and loads at Illinois River south of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, 1997-1999
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
2001-4217
Edition:
-
Year Published:
2001
Language:
ENGLISH
Description:
iii, 12 p. : ill., map ; 28 cm.