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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 3 No. 4, p. 409-413
    Received: Jan 29, 1974

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Nitrate Removal from Floodwater Overlying Flooded Soils and Sediments1

  1. R. M. Engler and
  2. W. H. Patrick Jr.2



The floodwater NO3 removal rate of intermittently-flooded fresh water swamp soils and continuously-flooded saline marsh soils of southern Louisiana was quantitatively characterized in a laboratory study. Of the two areas studied, the marsh area was the more effective sink for NO3 contaminated waters with an average initial removal rate of 9.15 ppm N/day. After correcting for the rate of NO3 diffusion, the microbial NO3 removal rate was calculated to be 7.64 ppm N/day. The swamp soil had a removal rate of 4.38 ppm N/day. The microbial NO3 removal rate for this area, after correcting for diffusion, was 2.50 ppm N/day. Studies on samples of floodwater separated from the soil showed the active site of microbial NO3 reduction to be the soil-water interface or within the soil, but not in the floodwater. Additions of organic matter to a mineral soil flooded for rice (Oryza sativa L.) culture decreased the thickness of the aerobic-anaerobic zone at the soil-water interface and increased the rate of NO3 reduction.

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