Nitrate transport process in a small coastal alluvial fan catchment

Mitsuyo Saito, Shin Ichi Onodera, Tsutomu Takei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In order to demonstrate the nitrate transport process from land to the sea, variations in the NO3--N flux of river water were investigated, and the NO3--N flux of groundwater was estimated in a small coastal alluvial fan catchment covered by orange groves. The results are summarized as follows: 1) In the base-flow period, the NO3--N flux of river water decreased from the midstream to the downstream area with the deduction in runoff; 2) At the peak of a storm event with 11 mm of total rainfall, the NO3--N flux increased up to about 16 times that in the base-flow period. The total discharge of NO3--N during that event was estimated to be equal to that of 4 days during the base-flow period; 3) The NO3 --N concentration in groundwater was more than 20 mg L-1 at the midstream area, whereas it had declined to less than 2.0 mg L-1 in the downstream area. Based on these results, we estimated the NO3--N discharge by groundwater to the sea to be about 2.4% of the annual nitrogen input from fertilizer application, suggesting that NO3 --N was removed from groundwater by denitrification in the downstream area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJapanese Journal of Limnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Alluvial fan
  • Groundwater
  • Nitrate
  • River water
  • Transport process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology


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