Characterization of Nutrient and Sediment Transport in a Restored Agricultural Stream

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. Gregory D. Jennings, Committee Chair en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Dr. Deanna L. Osmond, Committee Member en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Dr. Garry L. Grabow, Committee Member en_US Spangler, Justin Thomas en_US 2010-04-02T17:59:03Z 2010-04-02T17:59:03Z 2007-03-26 en_US
dc.identifier.other etd-12222006-101931 en_US
dc.description.abstract The Purlear Creek restoration project is a restored agricultural stream located in Wilkes County, North Carolina. The project site consists of 3,755 linear meters of restored stream located in a pastured beef operation. Restoration activities included the return of dimension, pattern and profile as well as reestablishing a reliable floodplain connection. Permanent fencing was installed to protect a 7.6 m vegetated buffer on either side of the stream and prevent cattle from damaging the riparian area. Load calculations indicate a 36% (0.16 kg N⁄day⁄100m) decrease in mass of total nitrogen (TN) between the inflow and outflow stations located at the boundaries of the restored reach. Nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N) increased by 29%, but the corresponding decrease in total nitrogen indicates the presence of transformation processes within the project site. The mean TKN concentrations throughout the site were higher than other streams within the same Ecoregion as reported by the EPA. The loading calculations indicate a 19% reduction in both TP and O-PO4-P as the load from the inflow tributaries pass through the restored site. The mean TP concentration for all the sampling stations throughout the study site were well above the TP concentration observed at other streams in the Ecoregion. The TSS concentration exhibited a significant reduction in both concentration and load as the inflow surface water passed through the restored site. The inflow load was reduced by 82% (6.74 kg⁄day⁄100m) over the course of the study period. Permanent cross sections along the tributary below the unrestricted cattle access confirm the deposition of material along the channel and indicate a decrease in cross sectional area over the course of the study. Of the inflow tributaries, the tributary flowing from a pasture with unrestricted cattle access to the stream repeatedly returns markedly higher concentrations of constituents such as TN, Organic N, total ammonium nitrogen (NH3-N), total phosphorus (TP), orthophosphate phosphorus (O-PO4-P), total suspended solids (TSS) and Escherichia coli. The Nitrogen Loss Estimation Worksheet (NLEW) and Phosphorus Loss Assessment Tool (PLAT) programs were used to quantify the anticipated nitrogen and phosphorus losses from within the pasture. These tools indicate an estimated field loss of 4,394 kg N⁄yr and 214 kg of P⁄yr when fertilizer application rates similar to the actual application rates were used for the study period. Overall, the combination of the stream restoration and the implementation of a vegetated riparian buffer indicate an improvement in water quality within this agricultural headwater restoration. Conditions favor nutrient cycling which decreases the quantity of N. Sedimentation within the restored site decreases the quantity of TSS and TP transported through the site. Benthic macroinvertebrate collected post restoration does not indicate a favorable ecological response to the restoration efforts. en_US
dc.rights I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dis sertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to NC State University or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report. en_US
dc.subject agricultural stream en_US
dc.subject riparian buffer en_US
dc.subject stream nutrients en_US
dc.subject stream restoration en_US
dc.subject fluvial geomorphology en_US
dc.title Characterization of Nutrient and Sediment Transport in a Restored Agricultural Stream en_US MS en_US thesis en_US Biological and Agricultural Engineering en_US

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