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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 36 No. 5, p. 1266-1272
    Received: Sept 6, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): annable@ufl.edu
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Passive Flux Meter Measurement of Water and Nutrient Flux in Saturated Porous Media: Bench-Scale Laboratory Tests

  1. Jaehyun Choa,
  2. Michael D. Annable *a,
  3. James W. Jawitzb and
  4. Kirk Hatfieldc
  1. a Dep. of Environmental Engineering Sciences, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611
    b Soil and Water Science Dep., Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611
    c Dep. of Civil and Coastal Engineering, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611


The passive nutrient flux meter (PNFM) is introduced for simultaneous measurement of both water and nutrient flux through saturated porous media. The PNFM comprises a porous sorbent pre-equilibrated with a suite of alcohol tracers, which have different partitioning coefficients. Water flux was estimated based on the loss of loaded resident tracers during deployment, while nutrient flux was quantified based on the nutrient solute mass captured on the sorbent. An anionic resin, Lewatit 6328 A, was used as a permeable sorbent and phosphate (PO4 3−) was the nutrient studied. The phosphate sorption capacity of the resin was measured in batch equilibration tests as 56 mg PO4 3− g−1, which was determined to be adequate capacity to retain PO4 3− loads intercepted over typical PNFM deployment periods in most natural systems. The PNFM design was validated with bench-scale laboratory tests for a range of 9.8 to 28.3 cm d−1 Darcy velocities and 6 to 43 h deployment durations. Nutrient and water fluxes measured by the PNFM averaged within 6 and 12% of the applied values, respectively, indicating that the PNFM shows promise as a tool for simultaneous measurement of water and nutrient fluxes.

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Copyright © 2007. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyAmerican Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America