Groundwater fluctuations-related nutrient cycling and stream water quality in agricultural headwater areas

PI: Bahareh Hassanpour

Hassanpour is an assistant professor in plant and earth science at UW–River Falls. Her research interests include remediation of non-point source pollution, water quality, nutrient cycling, and the fate and transport of contaminants. Her position is funded by the Dairy Innovation Hub.

Wisconsin has seen changes in groundwater levels due to the changing climate and rainfall patterns. Groundwater levels impact soil moisture, thus, oxygen availability, which impacts nutrient cycling and export. However, the impact of groundwater levels on nutrient cycling in agricultural soils with manure application and water quality is largely unknown. Understanding and quantifying this impact on nutrient cycling and export in agricultural areas are crucial in developing nutrient management strategies and predicting water quality and greenhouse gas emissions. This project aims to create a molecularscale explanation of the transport and cycling of nutrients with respect to groundwater levels in Wisconsin headwater manureapplied agricultural soils. This project has three specific objectives; (1) unravel the impact of groundwater level fluctuations and resulting soil moisture conditions on. nutrient cycling, mobility, and export, (2) decipher the impact of manure application on the cycling and transport of nutrients in agricultural soils subjected to groundwater fluctuations, and (3) understand nutrient export through groundwater in stream headwaters in primarily agricultural areas. The research findings will achieve an unprecedented mechanistic understanding of nutrient dynamics.

Publication in Water Resources Research – March 2023

Christian Guzman