Isotopes to Study Nitrogen Pollution and Eutrophication of Rivers and Lakes

Closed for proposals

Project Type

Coordinated Research Project

Project Code

F32007

CRP

2134

Approved Date

12 May 2015

Status

3 - Active - Ongoing

Start Date

22 February 2016

Expected End Date

21 February 2020

Participating Countries

Argentina
Belgium
Canada
Chile
China
Cuba
Finland
Ghana
Greece
India
Italy
Kenya
Malaysia
Morocco
Sri Lanka
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
United States of America
Viet Nam

Description

Water quality in thousands of lakes and rivers around the globe is deteriorating due to rising nutrient levels and other chemical pollutants mainly of anthropogenic origin (e.g., agriculture, sewage, industrial discharges, urban areas) causing changes in their ecological structure and function. The excessive nitrogen pollution (nitrate, ammonium) of surface waters has resulted in change of oligotrophic water bodies to eutrophic and sometimes to hypertrophic states. Environmental isotopes are used not only to assess hydrological processes in terms of surface water quantity, but also to address water quality issues, such as nitrogen pollution. This CRP aims to improve the suite of isotopic markers combined with other chemical / biological substances to better define the possible sources and re-cycling of nitrogen pollution in surface water bodies. The CRP aims to deepening the knowledge on the temporal (diel, seasonal) and in-depth variation of nitrogen isotope data, combined with additional substances, as deeper water bodies may sometimes prevent a complete understanding of nitrogen isotope dynamics from surface water collections. Moreover, improving conventional and promoting new methodologies on nitrogen species isotopic characteristics is expected to facilitate access to a more routine and low-cost use of nitrogen and oxygen isotope data of nitrogen species. Overall, the CRP will aim at improving the capability and expertise among participating Member States in the use of environmental isotopes to better assess the impact of nitrogen pollution and eutrophication on surface water resources availability and sustainability.

Objectives

To improve capability and expertise among Member States in the use environmental isotopes to better assess impacts of nitrogen pollution on water resources variability, availability and sustainability.

Specific objectives

Assess and improve the interpretation of hydrological processes, sources, interactions and pathways in rivers and lakes.

Assess and improve the suite of isotopes and other chemical and/or biological indicators to evaluate the environmental and anthropogenic impact on surface waters in terms of identifying more accurately the multiple sources of nitrogen pollution and eutrophication.

Assess and improve the understanding and interpretation of N-nutrient dynamics, eutrophication and sediment transport in lakes and rivers.

Explore improved analytical methods of N-related isotope parameters in order to facilitate access to isotope data of nitrogen species and build greater confidence in assessments of nitrogen pollution issues of surface waters.

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