Isotopes 101: Nutrient Source Tracking
Live Webinar: July 1, 2020
Speaker: Sean P. Ahearn, Beta Analytic’s project manager for water services
In an episode of the #SavingStormwater Podcast, Beta Analytic’s Project Manager for Water Service, Sean Ahearn, talks about solving stormwater management mysteries and how isotopic fingerprinting is a valuable tool in the process.
Nitrogen exists in several forms in the environment as part of the nitrogen cycle. Nitrate (NO3–) is one of these forms and is particularly important when looking at drinking water. Nitrate is very soluble in water and is therefore easily transported into various water systems from sources.
Nitrogen is predominantly available as nitrogen gas (N2) in the atmosphere and present on Earth in different physical states and chemical compositions. Identifying and quantifying the mobility of nitrogen is critical for understanding how the combustion of fossil fuels and increased use of fertilizers have contributed to global changes in the ecosystem .
The popularity of nitrogen-based fertilizers in agriculture for decades has contributed to a vast amount of anthropogenic nitrogen entering the nitrogen cycle. In soil, a significant component of the nitrogen is in its nitrate form, which leaches into waterways. While nitrate is present in water naturally, the extra nitrate can increase the nitrate concentration to […]
Florida has been subject to a host of toxic algal blooms at Lake Okeechobee and spreading along the coast. Besides being unsightly, they have serious consequences for the environment and the local population. Algal bloom is defined as the excess growth of algae in water. It can be caused by a combination of certain factors […]
Nitrogen from a variety of sources can make its way into groundwater and waterways. A certain level of nitrogen is naturally present in the environment and nitrate in low quantities are necessary nutrients. However, the high levels of nitrate found in major anthropogenic contributors such as agricultural runoff, nitrogen-based fertilizers, animal manure and sewage pose […]