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Scientific Investigations Report 2013–5102

National Water-Quality Assessment Program

Simulating Stream Transport of Nutrients in the Eastern United States, 2002, Using a Spatially-Referenced Regression Model and 1:100,000-Scale Hydrography

By Anne B. Hoos, Richard B. Moore, Ana Maria Garcia, Gregory B. Noe, Silvia E. Terziotti, Craig M. Johnston, and Robin L. Dennis

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Existing Spatially Referenced Regression on Watershed attributes (SPARROW) nutrient models for the northeastern and southeastern regions of the United States were recalibrated to achieve a hydrographically consistent model with which to assess nutrient sources and stream transport and investigate specific management questions about the effects of wetlands and atmospheric deposition on nutrient transport. Recalibrated nitrogen models for the northeast and southeast were sufficiently similar to be merged into a single nitrogen model for the eastern United States. The atmospheric deposition source in the nitrogen model has been improved to account for individual components of atmospheric input, derived from emissions from agricultural manure, agricultural livestock, vehicles, power plants, other industry, and background sources. This accounting makes it possible to simulate the effects of altering an individual component of atmospheric deposition, such as nitrate emissions from vehicles or power plants. Regional differences in transport of phosphorus through wetlands and reservoirs were investigated and resulted in two distinct phosphorus models for the northeast and southeast. The recalibrated nitrogen and phosphorus models account explicitly for the influence of wetlands on regional-scale land-phase and aqueous-phase transport of nutrients and therefore allow comparison of the water-quality functions of different wetland systems over large spatial scales. Seven wetland systems were associated with enhanced transport of either nitrogen or phosphorus in streams, probably because of the export of dissolved organic nitrogen and bank erosion. Six wetland systems were associated with mitigating the delivery of either nitrogen or phosphorus to streams, probably because of sedimentation, phosphate sorption, and ground water infiltration.

First posted September 25, 2013

For additional information contact:
Director, Tennessee Water Science Center
640 Grassmere Park Drive
Nashville, Tenn, 37211
(615) 837–4700


Anne Hoos, Hydrologist
TN Water Science Center
640 Grassmere Park
Nashville, Tenn, 37211
(615) 837–4700

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Suggested citation:

Hoos, A.B., Moore, R.B., Garcia, A.M., Noe, G.B., Terziotti, S.E., Johnston, C.M., and Dennis, R.L., 2013, Simulating stream transport of nutrients in the eastern United States, 2002, using a spatially-referenced regression model and 1:100,000-scale hydrography: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2013–5102, 33 p.,








Selected References

Appendix 1. Supplemental Description of Input Data and Model Specifications

Appendix 2. Supplemental Description of the SPARROW Model Equation and Coefficients

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