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groundwater, soil, Judith River Basin


Elevated nitrate in groundwater is common is agricultural areas where fertilizer has been added at high rates for decades. Within the Judith River Wastershed, high native soil fertility allowed for dryland wheat production without N fertilization until the 1980s, yet elevated nitrate levels were frequently observed in shallow aquifers. Dr. Stephanie Ewing presents results for soil, groundwater and surface water analyses from a hydrologically isolated strath terrace near Moccasin, MT. In context of this uniquely well constrained field setting, these observed data, along with land use history and a simple mass balance model, revel the long term development and perturbation of native soil fertility with cultivation.

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