Water quality trends in the Windrush catchment: Nitrogen speciation and sediment interactions
Johnes, P. J. and Burt, T. P. (1991) Water quality trends in the Windrush catchment: Nitrogen speciation and sediment interactions. Sediment and Stream Water Quality in a Changing Environment, 209. pp. 349-357. ISSN 0144-7815
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For the predominantly agricultural River Windrush catchment, spatial variations in concentrations of nitrogen species and suspended sediment were strongly related to geology and land use. Temporal patterns of NO3- and NO2- concentrations during the three year study were highly correlated with seasonal variations in baseflow. Suspended sediment concentrations were mainly controlled by storm discharge. Variations in total ammonium concentrations reflected both flow controls. Suspended sediment effects total ammonium and organic nitrogen transport to the aquatic system, and in-stream cycling processes. Organic nitrogen did not display consistent seasonal variations, but concentrations occasionally exceeding those of NO3-. Overall, NO3- and organic nitrogen were the most important at 60% and -40%, of total nitrogen load, respectively. Future assessments of agriculture impact on river water quality should consider the total nitrogen load, and not solely that of NO3-.