Master of Arts (MA)
Geography & Environmental Studies
Faculty of Arts
During the period of December 19, 1987 to March 28, 1988, the unsaturated and shallow saturated groundwater zones under two agricultural land use sites, near Waterloo, Ontario, were investigated to determine the effect of snowmelt percolation on the groundwater quality. Periods of widely fluctuating temperatures and sporadic rain events produced large changes in snowpack water equivalence. The resulting infiltration of snowmelt significantly altered the extent of the saturated area and the concentration of N (nitrogen) ions in both the soil column and percolate water. An N flux from the vadose (unsaturated) zone to the shallow phreatic (saturated) zone, occurring in association with snowmelt events, suggests that mineralization of organic soil N and N fertilizer residues occurred during wetting/drying and freeze/thaw cycles. It is demonstrated that N input from precipitation is minor in respect to the total mass of N exported from the vadose zone.
Elgood, Richard J., "The effect of mid-winter snowmelt events on nitrate and ammonium concentration in the unsaturated and shallow saturated zones: A case study" (1990). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 351.