Sources of nitrate in water from springs and the Upper Floridan aquifer, Suwannee River basin, Florida

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In the Suwannee River basin of northern Florida, nitrate-N concentrations are 1.5 to 20 mg 1-1 in waters of the karstic Upper Floridan aquifer and in springs that discharge into the middle reach of the Suwannee River. During 1996-1997, fertilizers and animal wastes from farming operations in Suwannee County contributed approximately 49% and 45% of the total N input, respectively. Values of ??15N-NO3 in spring waters range from 3.9??? to 5.8???, indicating that nitrate most likely originates from a mixture of inorganic (fertilizers) and organic (animal waste) sources. In Lafayette County, animal wastes from farming operations and fertilizers contributed approximately 53% and 39% of the total N input, respectively, but groundwater near dairy and poultry farms has ??15N-NO3 values of 11.0-12.1???, indicative of an organic source of nitrate. Spring waters that discharge to the Suwannee River from Lafayette County have ??15N-NO3 values of 5.4-8.39???, which are indicative of both organic and inorganic sources. Based on analyses of CFCs, the mean residence time of shallow groundwater and spring water ranges between 8-12 years and 12-25 years, respectively.

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Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Sources of nitrate in water from springs and the Upper Floridan aquifer, Suwannee River basin, Florida
Series title:
IAHS-AISH Publication
Year Published:
International Association of Hydrologic Sciences
Publisher location:
Houston, TX
8 p.
Larger Work Title:
Impacts of Land-Use Change on Nutrient Loads from Diffuse Sources: International Association of Hydrologic Sciences, Publication 257
First page:
Last page:
Conference Title:
Proceedings of the 1999 IUGG 99, the XXII General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
Conference Location:
Birmingham, UK
Conference Date:
18 July 1999 through 30 July 1999