Assessment of specific vulnerability to nitrates using LOS indices in the Ferrara Province, Italy

  • E. Salemi
  • N. Colombani
  • V. Aschonitis
  • M. Mastrocicco
Part of the Environmental Earth Sciences book series (EESCI)


A set of indices (LOS), based on a deterministic approach and regression analysis were used to assess intrinsic and specific vulnerability to nitrates in Ferrara Province, in northern Italy. To calibrate the LOS indices, using multiple regression analysis, the simulation results of GLEAMS model for combinations of different soil properties, topography and climatic conditions of a reference fieldcrop were used as “observed values”. Results of model were introduced in a GIS environment to obtain the vulnerability maps. Maps of water and nitrogen losses under the root zone (LOSW-P and LOSN-PN respectively) were used to obtain the map of relative concentration of percolated water (RCPW). Data on individual crops were used to calculate specific crop evapotranspiration rates (ETc) from potential evapotranspiration (PE). ETc values replaced PE values in the indices, to obtain both specific vulnerability map for water and nitrogen losses under the root zone (LOSW-P mod; LOSN-PN mod) and for relative nitrogen concentration of percolated water (RCPW mod). The RCPW mod map shows that concentration of nitrogen losses under the root zone is under water drinking limit of 50 mg/L (WFD; 2006/118/EC) all over the territory with highest concentrations along small areas of the coastal zone, where sandy textured soil are present (coastal dunes) and lowest concentrations where ETc is higher.


Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission Potential Evapotranspira Nitrogen Loss Specific Vulnerability Intrinsic Vulnerability 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Salemi
    • 1
  • N. Colombani
    • 1
  • V. Aschonitis
    • 2
  • M. Mastrocicco
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of FerraraFerraraItaly
  2. 2.School of AgricultureAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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