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Seasonal and long term trends in truckee river nevada usa nutrient concentrations and loadings to pyramid lake nevada a terminal saline lake



Seasonal and long term trends in truckee river nevada usa nutrient concentrations and loadings to pyramid lake nevada a terminal saline lake



Water Research 24(8): 1031-1040



Mass-discharge of phosphorus and nitrogen from Truckee River to Pyramid Lake, Nev., was estimated for 15 years (1973-1987) and related to changes in quantity and quality of sewage effluent discharged into the river. Effluent nitrogen loadings to Truckee River increased by about 6% yr-1, whereas phosphorus discharge beginning in 1982 was reduced 90% by phosphorus removal. Water discharged annually by Truckee River to Pyramid Lake varied widely among years, ranging from about 42 to 2420 m3 .times. 106. Anomalous regional precipitation patterns associated with strong El Nino-Southern Oscillation events resulted in below-average Truckee River discharge from 1977 to 1979, and above-average discharge from 1982 to 1986. Mass-transport of soluble reactive phosphorus to Pyramid Lake declined from 146 to 94 mm m-2 yr-1 after phosphorus removal, whereas total phosphorus loadings increased from 217 to 396 mg m-2 yr-1. There were no significant long-term trends in total nitrogen loadings to Pyramid Lake (mean: 1640 mg m-2 yr-1; range: 112-5500 mg m-2 yr-1), despite increases in effluent nitrogen loadings to Truckee River. Seasonal and annual fluctuations in fluvial discharge, changes in quantity and quality of effluent discharged to Truckee River and in-river biological uptake and transformations were responsible for the variability in in-stream nutrient concentrations and projected loadings to Pyramid Lake.

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