, Volume 251, Issue 1, pp 103–111

Nitrate transformation and water movement in a wetland area

  • Walter Brüsch
  • Bertel Nilsson
Streams, rivers, riparian vegetation

DOI: 10.1007/BF00007170

Cite this article as:
Brüsch, W. & Nilsson, B. Hydrobiologia (1993) 251: 103. doi:10.1007/BF00007170


The NO3 transformation capacity of a riparian zone at Rabis stream, Denmark, was investigated for a period of 2 years. The riparian zone of 15–25 m received NO3-containing groundwater from the adjoining agricultural areas. The water flows as surface runoff along the surface of the wetland and in the root zone towards the stream. Changes in water chemistry, water balance and mass transport were investigated. The riparian zone acted as a buffer zone for NO3, PO43− and dissolved Fe2+. The NO3-transformation capacity of the wetland was about 400 kg N ha−1 y−1, but varied seasonally. A simple rearrangement of drain systems in wetland areas can probably reduce the NO3 content of Danish surface waters by 20 000–50 000 t N y−1.

Key words

Riparian zone ground water surface water denitrification nitrate transformation water balance mass balance 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter Brüsch
    • 1
  • Bertel Nilsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Geological Survey of DenmarkCopenhagen NVDenmark

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