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Understanding Phosphorus Transport Through Tile Drains utilizing Descriptive Statistics

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2016 10th International Drainage Symposium Conference, 6-9 September 2016, Minneapolis, Minnesota  .(doi:10.13031/IDS.20162492695)
Authors:   S. Bianca Bailey, Laura Christianson, Richard Cooke
Keywords:   Algae, Corn-Soybean, Dissolved Phosphorus, Eutrophication, Tile Drain

Abstract. Harmful levels of dissolved phosphorus have caused algal blooms and eutrophication to occur more frequently in rivers, lakes and streams. Agricultural sites seem to be a major contribution to non-point source transport of phosphorus into surface waters. The specific objective of this paper is to provide a descriptive analysis of a compiled data set total dissolved phosphorus and total phosphorus concentrations from tile drain papers. This information is imperative in eventually determining the significance of total dissolved and total phosphorus concentrations in surface and tile drainage on non-point pollution.

Data were collected from tile drains of total dissolved phosphorus (TDP), total phosphorus (TP) concentrations measured in mg P/L. Each measured concentration was obtained from the selected study sites reviewed in literature. Quartiles were obtained to describe the data trend for TDP and TP. The TDP concentrations ranged from 0.002-0.310 mg/L with n=88 concentrations obtained. Additionally, TP concentrations ranged from 0.008-1.13 mg/L. Probability of exceedance and quartiles were determined for the set of phosphorus concentrations with values resulting in TDP concentrations above below 0.03 mg/L P. In order to explain the significance of the tile drained TDP and TP, further data including, total phosphorus in surface runoff, must be compiled and compared. The comparison will be presented in a later paper. This comparative analysis of total dissolved and total phosphorus concentrations may provide insight on quantifying the stress surface runoff and tile drainage phosphorus apply to surface waters.

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