Nitrogen in Texas Rivers

Storm Driven Nitrogen Export

Water quantity in Texas rivers is dominated by two factors: reservoirs and storms. While the Texas legislature has mandated episodic releases of water from reservoirs to help maintain salinity regimes in estuaries, the difference in nutrient export from these releases and more "natural" storm events are poorly understood. We studied six rivers across a climatic and land use gradient in coastal Texas to examine these two types of hydrological events. Storm events, especially in small rivers, dominated both water and nitrogen export (Griffin and McClelland, in prep) except in the Nueces River, which has a reservoir very low in the watershed.

climate, land use, and estuarine production

The data collected along these six rivers was part of a larger project linking climate, land use change, river routing (Tavakoly et al., 2016), and nitrogen export as drivers of estuarine productivity. The holistic approach of this project aimed to integrate  climate, hydrological, and productivity models from land to sea.