Characterizing the Pathways and Characteristics of Nutrients Discharging from Ground-Water to Surface Water

by P. P. Mathisen,
D. J. Pellegrino,
H. Wen,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: World Environmental and Water Resource Congress 2006: Examining the Confluence of Environmental and Water Concerns


Any investigation of surface-water quality for a lake or pond requires accurate estimates of the contributing contaminant or nutrient loads. In many cases, inflow from the adjacent ground wateraquifer contributes significant portions of these loads. However, the loads that originate from ground-water aquifers are often difficult to quantify. Furthermore, the processes and pathways followed by contaminants as they enter the ponds are difficult to characterize. To gain a better understanding of processes controlling these ground-water/surface-waterexchanges, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has been investigating the discharge of phosphorous and other constituents from a sewage-contaminated aquifer into Ashumet Pond, apond located adjacent to the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR) in Cape Cod, MA. This investigation has provided a detailed data set illustrating the vertical and temporal distribution of this discharge along the pond bottom where the contaminated groundwater enters the lake. It also provides an excellent basis for understanding the pathways and transport mechanisms governing contaminant transport.

Subject Headings: Ponds | Water discharge | Surface water | Load factors | Groundwater pollution | Contaminant transport | Transportation management | United States | Massachusetts

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