Environmental Management

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 398–409 | Cite as

Nutrient Response Modeling in Falls of the Neuse Reservoir

  • Jing LinEmail author
  • Jie Li


In order to study system responses of Falls of the Neuse Reservoir (Falls Lake) to varied nutrient loadings, a coupled three-dimensional hydrodynamic and eutrophication model was applied. The model was calibrated using 2005 and 2006 intensive survey data, and validated using 2007 survey data. Compared with historical hydrological records, 2005 and 2007 were considered as dry years and 2006 was recognized as a normal year. Relatively higher nutrient fluxes from the sediment were specified for dry year model simulations. The differences were probably due to longer residence time and hence higher nutrient retention rate during dry years in Falls Lake. During the normal year of 2006, approximately 70% of total nitrogen (TN) and 80% of total phosphorus (TP) were delivered from the tributaries; about 20% (TN and TP) were from the sediment bottom. During the dry years of 2005 and 2007, the amount of TN released from sediment was equivalent to that introduced from the tributaries, indicating the critical role of nutrient recycling within the system in dry years. The model results also suggest that both nitrogen and phosphorus are limiting phytoplankton growth in Falls Lake. In the upper part of the lake where high turbidity was observed, nitrogen limitation appeared to dominate. Scenario model runs also suggest that great nutrient loading reductions are needed for Falls Lake to meet the water quality standard.


Nutrients Eutrophication Water quality modeling Falls Lake Benthic flux 



We appreciate the helpful advice provided by Falls Lake Technical Advisory Committee during the development period of the nutrient response model. The technical review of the model application by Tetra Tech is also appreciated. Finally, we are very thankful to Andy Painter and Kathy Stecker of NC Division of Water Quality for proof-reading this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Modeling and TMDL Unit, Department of Environment and Natural ResourcesNorth Carolina Division of Water Quality-PlanningRaleighUSA
  2. 2.College of Ocean and MeteorologyGuangdong Ocean UniversityZhanjiangChina
  3. 3.Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric SciencesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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