Evaluation of measures to reduce nitrate loss to groundwater from tillage land
Citation:Alina Premrov, 'Evaluation of measures to reduce nitrate loss to groundwater from tillage land', [thesis], Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). Department of Geology, 2011, pp 175
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This study investigates measures to reduce nitrate losses from tillage land used for spring barley production to a shallow sand and gravel aquifer situated in Oak Park, Co. Carlow, south-east Ireland, in an area with high groundwater vulnerability and close proximity to a nearby river. The hydrogeological investigations and the charaterisation of aquifer under the study area were performed. Particle size analysis confirmed the sand and gravel dominated composition of these sediments. Aquifer transmissivity was estimated in the range from c.248-1058 m2/day. A tracer study indicated that soil surface activities at this site can have an impact on shallow groundwater quality within a period of less than one year. The effects of the three over-winter green cover treatments (mustard, natural regeneration and no-cover) under two different tillage practices (conventional plough and reduced tillage) on nitrate leaching to the unsaturated zone were examined over the period of over-wintering leaching seasons during the three years. This was done using a small-scale randomized block experiment with suction cups installed at 0.9m depth. Nitrate concentrations in the shallow groundwater (water level c.2.4m deep) were examined under three different over-winter green cover treatments (mustard, natural regeneration and no-cover) and a single tillage practice (conventional plough) over a period of three years. This was done using a large-scale experiment with installed monitoring wells (piezometers) designed to take the hydrogeological characteristics of the site into account. An agro-meteorological model was developed for predicting effective rainfall for estimating groundwater recharge and computing the nitrate loads leached.
Author: Premrov, Alina
Advisor:Coxon, Catherine E.
Richards, Karl E.
Publisher:Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). Department of Geology
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Type of material:thesis
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