Understanding nutrient biogeochemistry in agricultural catchments:the challenge of appropriate monitoring frequencies

Bieroza, Magdalena and Heathwaite, Louise and Mullinger, Neil and Keenan, Patrick (2014) Understanding nutrient biogeochemistry in agricultural catchments:the challenge of appropriate monitoring frequencies. Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, 16 (7). pp. 1676-1691. ISSN 2050-7887

Full text not available from this repository.


We evaluate different frequencies of riverine nutrient concentration measurement to interpret diffuse pollution in agricultural catchments. We focus on three nutrient fractions, nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N), total reactive phosphorus (TRP) and total phosphorus (TP) observed using conventional remote laboratory-based, low-frequency sampling and automated, in situ high-frequency monitoring. We demonstrate the value of low-frequency routine nutrient monitoring in providing long-term data on changes in surface water and groundwater nutrient concentrations. By contrast, automated high-frequency nutrient observations provide insight into the fine temporal structure of nutrient dynamics in response to a full spectrum of flow dynamics. We found good agreement between concurrent in situ and laboratory-based determinations for nitrate-nitrogen (Pearson's R = 0.93, p < 0.01). For phosphorus fractions: TP (R = 0.84, p < 0.01) and TRP (R = 0.79, p < 0.01) the relationships were poorer due to the underestimation of P fractions observed in situ and storage-related changes of grab samples. A detailed comparison between concurrent nutrient data obtained by the hourly in situ automated monitoring and weekly-to-fortnightly grab sampling reveals a significant information loss at the extreme range of nutrient concentration for low-frequency sampling.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2308
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 69344
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 02 May 2014 09:54
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2020 07:44
URI: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/69344

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item