EPA Science Inventory

A screening-level modeling approach to estimate nitrogen loading and standard exceedance risk, with application to the Tippecanoe River watershed, Indiana

Citation:

Yang, G., Elly Best, T. Whiteaker, A. Teklitz, AND L. Yeghiazarian. A screening-level modeling approach to estimate nitrogen loading and standard exceedance risk, with application to the Tippecanoe River watershed, Indiana. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 135:1-10, (2014).

Description:

This paper presents a screening-level modeling approach that can be used to rapidly estimate nutrient loading and assess numerical nutrient standard exceedance risk of surface waters leading to potential classification as impaired for designated use. It can also be used to explore best management practice (BMP) implementation to reduce loading. The modeling framework uses a hybrid statistical and process based approach to estimate source of pollutants, their transport and decay in the terrestrial and aquatic parts of watersheds. The framework is developed in the ArcGIS environment and is based on the total maximum daily load (TMDL) balance model. Nitrogen (N) is currently addressed in the framework, referred to as WQM-TMDL-N. Loading for each catchment includes non-point sources (NPS) and point sources (PS). NPS loading is estimated using export coefficient or event mean concentration methods depending on the temporal scales, i.e., annual or daily. Loading from atmospheric deposition is also included. The probability of a nutrient load to exceed a target load is evaluated using probabilistic risk assessment, by including the uncertainty associated with export coefficients of various land uses. The computed risk data can be visualized as spatial maps which show the load exceedance probability for all stream segments. In an application of this modeling approach to the Tippecanoe River watershed in Indiana, USA, total nitrogen (TN) loading and risk of standard exceedance were estimated and mapped. Model results suggest that decay coefficients decrease, and delivery fractions increase with increasing stream order. The spatial distribution pattern of delivered incremental TN yield shows a trend similar to that of the delivery fraction in this watershed. The target TN exceedance risk increases considerably when switching from Indiana draft-N benchmark to EPA-proposed TN criteria, suggesting that load reduction to meet latter criteria may benefit from BMP implementation through source control and delivery reduction.

Purpose/Objective:

To inform the public

URLs/Downloads:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.01.003   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 03/15/2014
Completion Date: 03/15/2014
Record Last Revised: 04/29/2014
Record Created: 04/23/2014
Record Released: 04/23/2014
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 273970

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

WATER SUPPLY AND WATER RESOURCES DIVISION

WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT BRANCH