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Assessing the use of delta O-18 in phosphate as a tracer for catchment phosphorus sources
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
SMHI, Sweden.
SMHI, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
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2017 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 607Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Procedures for source apportionment of nutrients transported in rivers and streams are often uncertain and difficult to validate. In this study, we investigated if the oxygen isotope ratios in stream dissolved phosphate delta O-18(P)) can be used to distinguish between the phosphorus (P) originating from agricultural runoff and from rural sewage, at different periods of the year. Water was collected from septic tanks, drainage wells and the stream outlet in a small 7.3 km(2)) agricultural catchment to capture variations in the isotope signature at different flowevents. The d18OP signature in septic tank effluent (+ 13.2 to + 14.5%) was significantly different from that in drainage water (+ 9.0 to + 15.7%). Four different septic tanks had surprisingly similar isotope signature when 24 h composite samples were collected. Most of the water samples were not in oxygen isotope equilibrium. In three drainage wells, the d18OP signature varied from + 7.8 up to + 15.7% with higher values in periods with a larger contribution of superficial streamflow generation. A rainfall soon after manure had been spread resulted in a d18OP of 15.7% in a drainage well, and was also reflected in a similar value at the catchment outlet. This implies that the source isotope signal may be conserved during moderate or high flows. A three end-member model including the geological background would be a useful start to quantify the P contribution from diverse sources. Temporal differences in biological activity and the predominant transport pathways through soil profiles must be considered along with information about fertilisation. In combination with hydrological modelling of water pathways, this may considerably improve our understanding of catchment P losses. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV , 2017. Vol. 607
Keyword [en]
Drainage pipes; Hydrological pathways; Oxygen isotopes; Sewage; Source apportionment
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-140941DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.06.167ISI: 000408755300001PubMedID: 28686890OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-140941DiVA: diva2:1142436
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council Formas [214-2008-1131]; Swedish Farmers Foundation for Agricultural Research [H0870022]

Available from: 2017-09-19 Created: 2017-09-19 Last updated: 2017-09-19

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