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Issue 5, 2010
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Assessing multiple novel tracers to improve the understanding of the contribution of agricultural farm waste to diffuse water pollution

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Abstract

A study was undertaken on drained and undrained 1 ha grassland lysimeters to assess the effectiveness of multiple novel tracing techniques in understanding how agricultural slurry waste moves from land to water. Artificial fluorescent particles designed to mimic the size and density of organic slurry particles were found to move off the grassland via inter-flow (surface + lateral through-flow) and drain-flow. Where both pathways were present the drains carried the greater number of particles. The results of the natural fluorescence and δ13C of water samples were inconclusive. Natural fluorescence was higher from slurry-amended lysimeters than from zero-slurry lysimeters, however, a fluorescence decay experiment suggested that no slurry signal should be present given the time between slurry application and the onset of drainage. The δ13C values of >0.7 µm and <0.7 µm material in drainage were varied and unrelated to discharge. The mean value of >0.7 µm δ13C in water from the drain-flow pathways was higher from the lysimeter which had received naturally enriched maize slurry compared to the lysimeter which received grass slurry indicating a contribution of slurry-derived material. Values of <0.7 µm δ13C from the same pathway, however, produced counter intuitive trends and may indicate that different fractions of the slurry have different δ13C values.

Graphical abstract: Assessing multiple novel tracers to improve the understanding of the contribution of agricultural farm waste to diffuse water pollution

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Article information


Submitted
05 Aug 2009
Accepted
30 Nov 2009
First published
02 Mar 2010

J. Environ. Monit., 2010,12, 1159-1169
Article type
Paper

Assessing multiple novel tracers to improve the understanding of the contribution of agricultural farm waste to diffuse water pollution

S. J. Granger, R. Bol, L. Dixon, P. S. Naden, G. H. Old, J. K. Marsh, G. Bilotta, R. Brazier, S. M. White and P. M. Haygarth, J. Environ. Monit., 2010, 12, 1159
DOI: 10.1039/B915929K

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