A GIS Framework for Regional Modeling of Riverine Nitrogen Transport: Case Study, San Antonio and Guadalupe Basins

Ahmad A. Tavakoly, David R. Maidment, James W. McClelland, Tim Whiteaker, Zong Liang Yang, Claire Griffin, Cédric H. David, Lisa Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article presents a framework for integrating a regional geographic information system (GIS)-based nitrogen dataset (Texas Anthropogenic Nitrogen Dataset, TX-ANB) and a GIS-based river routing model (Routing Application for Parallel computation of Discharge) to simulate steady-state riverine total nitrogen (TN) transport in river networks containing thousands of reaches. A two-year case study was conducted in the San Antonio and Guadalupe basins during dry and wet years (2008 and 2009, respectively). This article investigates TN export in urbanized (San Antonio) vs. rural (Guadalupe) drainage basins and considers the effect of reservoirs on TN transport. Simulated TN export values are within 10 percent of measured export values for selected stations in 2008 and 2009. Results show that in both years the San Antonio basin contributed a larger quantity than the Guadalupe basin of delivered TN to the coastal ocean. The San Antonio basin is affected by urban activities including point sources, associated with the city of San Antonio, in addition to greater agricultural activities. The Guadalupe basin lacks major metropolitan areas and is dominated by rangeland, rather than fertilized agricultural fields. Both basins delivered more TN to coastal waters in 2009 than in 2008. Furthermore, TN removal in the San Antonio and Guadalupe basins is inversely related to stream orders: the higher the order the more TN delivery (or the less TN removal).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Keywords

  • Geographic information system
  • NHDPlus
  • Nonpoint source pollution
  • River networks
  • Routing Application for Parallel computation of Discharge
  • Surface water hydrology
  • Total nitrogen

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