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item Boyer, Douglas

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Boyer, D.G. 1999. Nitrate sources in karst groundwater of Appalachia. American Society of Agronomy Meetings. p. 329.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The impact on water quality by agricultural activity in karst terrain is an important consideration for resource management within the Appalachian Region. More than 280 water samples from three scales of sampling under various agricultural land uses in a karst region of central Appalachia were analyzed for the ratio of 15N to 14N. ë15N ranged from -1.5 0/100 to 205.6 0/100 with an average of 21.5 0/100. Fertilizer sources were indicated by 21.5 percent of the samples and animal waste sources by 66.1 percent of the samples. Cave streams receiving drainage water from pastures and a sinkhole adjacent to an area of confined animals were impacted chiefly by animal waste. Three springs draining karst basins with agriculture being the predominant land cover and grazing the primary agricultural land use showed animal waste as the primary source of nitrate. A strong linear relationship between percent of samples indicating animal source nitrate and nitrate concentration clearly shows that control and management of animal wastes is crucial for improving and protecting water quality in the karst aquifer.