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Subsurface Lateral Flow from Hillslope and Its Contribution to Nitrate Loading in the Streams During Typical Storm Events in an Agricultural Catchment : Volume 8, Issue 2 (27/04/2011)

By Tang, J.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004012899
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 43
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Subsurface Lateral Flow from Hillslope and Its Contribution to Nitrate Loading in the Streams During Typical Storm Events in an Agricultural Catchment : Volume 8, Issue 2 (27/04/2011)  
Author: Tang, J.
Volume: Vol. 8, Issue 2
Language: English
Subject: Science, Hydrology, Earth
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Zhang, B., Gao, C., Zepp, H., & Tang, J. (2011). Subsurface Lateral Flow from Hillslope and Its Contribution to Nitrate Loading in the Streams During Typical Storm Events in an Agricultural Catchment : Volume 8, Issue 2 (27/04/2011). Retrieved from

Description: Key State Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Nanjing 210008, China. Compared with overland flow from agricultural hillslopes, subsurface lateral flow is often overlooked partly due to monitoring difficulties and the lack of quantitative identification its role in nutrient delivery to surface water. The objectives of this study were to examine how subsurface lateral flow generates from hillslopes to streams and to quantify its contribution to nutrient loading in streams. Hillslope hydrology and stream hydrology were simultaneously monitored during two typical storms and subsurface flow was separated by chemical mixing model. Positive soil water potential at the soil depths from 0.60 to 1.50 m was observed at the middle course of the storm events, suggesting soil water was saturated following the storms and the drained after the end of the storms. The hydro-chemographs in the stream in a trench below a hillslope showed that suspended sediment, particulate N and P were dominant in the stream during the storms, while after the end of the rainstorms the nitrate concentration and electricity conductivity (EC) in the stream increased with time on the recession limbs of the hydrographs. Meanwhile, a rebound or delayed curve appeared on the recession limbs for several hours immediately after the end of rainstorms. All the synchronous data confirmed nitrate was delivered from the hillslope through subsurface lateral flow to the streams even after the end of rainstorms. A chemical mixing model based on EC and pH showed that the subsurface lateral flow during the rainstorm events accounted for 29% to 45% of the stream flow and about 86% of total NO3-N loss (or 26% of total N loss) from the peanut hillslope and for 5.7% to 7.3% of the stream flow about 69% of total NO3-N loss (or 28% of total N loss) from the catchment outlet. The results suggest that subsurface lateral flow generated within a shallow soil profile have to be paid more attention for controlling non-point source surface water pollution from intensive agricultural catchment.

Subsurface lateral flow from hillslope and its contribution to nitrate loading in the streams during typical storm events in an agricultural catchment

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