Download Full Text (760 KB)

Document Type

Book Chapter


Virginia Institute of Marine Science


Joseph A. Mihursky and Ann Chaney

Publication Date


Book Title

New Perspectives in the Chesapeake System: A Research and Management Partnership, Proceedings of a Conference December 4-6, 1990 Baltimore, MD


Chesapeake Research Consortium


CRC Publication No. 137


Groundwater discharge supplies a significant portion of the inorganic nutrients entering the Chesapeake Bay. This discharge increases nutrient concentration in surface waters, which may result in increased macrophyte growth, reductions in· submerged aquatic vegetation and alteration of habitat. Human activities adjacent to the shoreline greatly increase nutrient concentration in the underlying groundwater, and so affect the overall nutrient input by groundwater seepage. In order to quantify the effect of land use on groundwater nutrient loading in the Virginia coastal plain we have installed monitoring wells in a variety of near shore environments adjacent to the James and York Rivers. Since the Spring of 1988, groundwater nitrogen species concentrations have been monitored beneath agricultural fields planted with corn and soy beans, woodlands, vineyards, and suburban development with septic drain fields. (...)

Groundwater Nutrient Discharge to the Chesapeake Bay: Effects of Near-Shore Land Use Practices