Dynamics of diffuse pollution from US southern watersheds

Water Res. 2001 Jul;35(10):2534-42. doi: 10.1016/s0043-1354(00)00510-8.


To understand the effects of diffuse pollution information on the source of pollutants, quantities in transport, mode of transport, transient nature of the pollution event, and most importantly, a consideration of remediation efforts need to be known. For example, water quality research in the Yazoo Basin uplands in Mississippi has shown sediment loads from a conventional-till upland soybean watershed to be about 19,000kg/ha/yr, and responsible for 77-96% of P and N in transport. In contrast, sediment loads from a comparable no-till soybean watershed were only 500 kg/ha/yr. transporting about 31% of P and N in transport. Sediment loads from a nearby forested area were low, about 200 kg/ha/yr, but responsible for about 47-76% of P and N in transport. Transient pollution events are responsible for the transport of large quantities of sediment, nutrients, and pesticides; in some storm events nearly the annual load. Best management practices (BMPs) must be designed to remediate diffuse pollution and the transient nature of pollution events which can have a profound effect on the ecological health of steams and reservoirs.

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Chemical Precipitation
  • Diffusion
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Forestry
  • Fresh Water / analysis*
  • Fresh Water / chemistry
  • Nitrates / analysis
  • Nitrogen / analysis
  • Phosphates / analysis
  • Phosphorus / analysis
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds / analysis
  • Solubility
  • United States
  • Water Pollution, Chemical / analysis*


  • Nitrates
  • Phosphates
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
  • Phosphorus
  • Nitrogen