Estimation of nitrogen yields and loads from basins draining to Long Island Sound, 1988-98

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2002-4044

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Monitoring data on total nitrogen concentrations and streamflow were used to estimate annual nonpoint nitrogen loads for 1988?98 at 28 monitoring sites and 26 unmonitored basins that drain to Long Island Sound. The estimated total nitrogen yields at monitoring sites were used with basin characteristics and ancillary data to develop a multiple-linear regression equation to estimate nonpoint nitrogen yields from monitored and unmonitored basins. The estimated nonpoint nitrogen load to Long Island Sound from the basins studied ranged from 21 million pounds in water year 1995 to 50 million pounds in water year 1990. Statistically significant regression variables include time, population density, annual mean runoff (minus wastewater return flow), pointsource nitrogen yields, percentage of basin area classified as urban/recreational grasses, percentage of the basin classified as agricultural land, and the ratio of deciduous to total forest area. Nonpoint nitrogen loads from monitored and unmonitored basins were computed using the regression equation by setting the point-source nitrogen yields and wastewater return variables to zero, and incorporating streamflow information from index stations in or near unmonitored basins. Nonpoint nitrogen load information obtained through use of this equation was summarized by six Long Island Sound management zones. Estimates of nonpoint nitrogen loads from these basins can be improved by additional sampling, and by developing data on nitrogen loads from municipal wastewater-treatment facilities outside of Connecticut, compiling information on annual interbasin diversions of flow, studying instream losses of nitrogen, and analyzing the processing and storage of atmospheric nitrogen in different forest types.

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Estimation of nitrogen yields and loads from basins draining to Long Island Sound, 1988-98
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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84 p.