Nitrogen dynamics in a tidal river zone influenced by highly urbanization, western Japan

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Mitsuyo Saito1, Shin-ichi Onodera2, Yuta Shimizu3, Yutaka Maruyama2, Guangzhe Jin2 and Daiki Aritomi2, (1)Okayama University, Okayama, Japan, (2)Hiroshima University, Higashi Hiroshima, Japan, (3)JSPS Research Fellow, NARO/WARC, Fukuyama, Japan
Tidal river and estuary are the transition zone between freshwater and seawater with high biological production. These areas have characteristics of water level fluctuation which causes surface water-groundwater interaction and the associated change in dynamics of nitrogen. Generally in coastal megacities, severe groundwater depression and high contaminants load influence on the environment of tidal river. However, these effects on the nitrogen dynamics and its load from a river to sea have not been fully evaluated in previous studies. Therefore, we aimed to clarify the characteristics of the nitrogen dynamics with the surface water-groundwater interaction in the tidal river zone of Osaka metropolitan city, western Japan. We conducted the field survey from the river mouth to the 7km upstream area of Yamato River, which has a length of 68km and a watershed area of 1,070 km2. Spatial variations in radon (222Rn) concentrations and the difference of hydraulic potential between river waters and the pore waters suggest that the groundwater discharges to the river channel in the upstream area. In contrast, the river water recharged into the groundwater near the river mouth area. It may be caused by the lowering of groundwater level associated with the excess abstraction in the urban area. The spatial and temporal variations in nutrient concentration indicate that nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) concentration changed temporally and it was negatively correlated with dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) concentration. Based on the mass balance estimation in winter and summer periods, nitrogen was removed in tidal river zone in both periods which was estimated to be about 10 % of total nitrogen (TN) load from the upstream. However, dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and DON was re-produced in winter and summer periods, respectively. NO3-N concentrations were negatively correlated with velocity of river water, which suggests the progress of denitrification in the tidal river zone under low discharge condition. Nitrogen and oxygen stable isotope ratios (δ15N, δ18O) of nitrate (NO3-) suggests the possibility of nitrification progress in the winter periods.