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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Potential Aquifer Pollution from Nitrate Leaching Following the Plowing of Temporary Grassland1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 13 No. 2, p. 274-278
    Received: Feb 28, 1983

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  1. K. C. Cameron and
  2. A. Wild2



An investigation of the amounts and concentrations of nitrate released following the plowing of temporary grassland confirmed that, potentially at least, this practice forms a major source of NO3-N pollution of aquifers. Direct measurements of changes in profile NO3-N distributions at two sites show that a total of up to about 100 kg N ha−1 was leached over two winters after fall mineralization following plowing. Solution nitrate concentrations were in excess of the World Health Organization limits for drinking water. The amount of N mineralized was related to the total soil N. The average rate of leaching through the Chalk soils studied in southern England was about 1 m/yr.

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