Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Slow-moving ground water slows down water-quality improvements in Chesapeake Bay

19.02.2004


Slow-moving ground water slows down water-quality improvements in Chesapeake Bay Ground water supplies about half of the water and nitrogen to streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and is therefore an important pathway for nitrogen to reach the bay, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study. Too many nutrients, most of all nitrogen, are the principal cause for poor water-quality conditions in the Chesapeake Bay.



The ground water moving to streams in the Bay watershed has an average age of 10 years. The relatively slow movement of ground water to streams and into the Bay will impact the “lag time” between implementation of management practices and improvement of water quality in the Bay. The Chesapeake Bay Program, a multi-agency watershed partnership, is implementing nutrient-reduction strategies in an attempt to improve water-quality conditions in the Bay by 2010.

“Over the past dozen years we have seen more than 3 million acres in the Bay watershed put under nutrient management plans,” said Chesapeake Bay Program Director Rebecca Hanmer. “This improved scientific understanding provided by the USGS will help us better estimate when we’ll see the benefits from these efforts and how much more is needed to bring back the Bay.”


The age of ground water in shallow aquifers underlying most of the Chesapeake Bay watershed ranges from less than 1 year to more than 50 years. The majority of the ground water (75 percent) is less than 13 years old, which is younger than previously thought.

The USGS study found that just over 50 percent of the water in a stream is from ground water with a range of 16 to 92 percent. Surface-water runoff and soil water supply the rest of the water to a stream; both have very young ages (hours to months).

Nitrogen in streams that drain to the Bay comes from both runoff and ground water. Nitrogen enters ground water from rainfall or through application of fertilizers and other practices associated with agricultural, suburban and urban areas. The USGS study estimated that on average 48 percent of the total nitrogen load in a stream was transported through ground water, with a range of 17 to 80 percent in different streams.

“Knowing the amount, age and nitrogen content of ground water entering streams helps explain some of the reasons for the relatively slow improvements in water quality of rivers draining to the Bay,” said Scott Phillips, the USGS Chesapeake Bay coordinator and one of the investigators on the study. “The lessons learned from Chesapeake Bay will also help guide management decisions for protecting water quality in other areas of the nation.”

The findings of the USGS Chesapeake Bay ground-water study are summarized in a fact sheet, “The Influence of Ground Water on Nitrogen Delivery to the Chesapeake Bay,” (USGS Fact Sheet 091-03) and a comprehensive technical report, “Residence Times and Nitrate Transport in Ground Water Discharging to Streams in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed,” Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4035. More information about USGS studies to help with the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed can be found on http://Chesapeake.usgs.gov.


The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

Kathleen Gohn | U.S. Geological Survey
Further information:
http://www.usgs.gov/public/press/public_affairs/press_releases/pr1854m.html
http://Chesapeake.usgs.gov

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle
22.06.2018 | Technical University of Denmark

nachricht Polar ice may be softer than we thought
22.06.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>