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Biogeochemical impacts of storm runoff on water quality in Southern Kaneohe Bay, Hawai'i

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Item Summary

Title: Biogeochemical impacts of storm runoff on water quality in Southern Kaneohe Bay, Hawai'i
Authors: Ringuet, Stephanie
Advisor: Mackenzie, Fred
Issue Date: Dec 2003
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: Fluvial impacts on water quality and ecosystem structure were evaluated in southern Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. Fluvial inputs occurred as small, steady baseflow interrupted by intense pulses of storm runoff. Baseflow impacted only restricted areas around stream mouths, but the five storm events sampled during this study produced transient runoff plumes of much greater spatial extent. Nutrient loading via runoff generally led to an increase of the phytoplankton biomass and gross productivity in southern Kaneohe Bay, but the rapid depletion of nutrients resulted in a fast decline of the algal population for all storm events considered in this study. Because of variability in export and mixing rates of runoff nutrients, the magnitude of the phytoplankton response was not proportional to nutrient loading. Under baseline conditions, water-column productivity in southern Kaneohe Bay is normally nitrogen-limited. However, following storm events, the high dissolved inorganic nitrogen to dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIN:DIP) of runoff nutrients drive South Bay waters towards phosphorus-limitation. A depletion of phosphate (PO43-) relative to nitrate (NO3-) in surface waters was observed following all storm events. Due to high flushing rates, recovery times of bay waters from storm perturbations ranged from three to eight days and appeared to be correlated with tidal range. Storm inputs can thus have significant impacts on the water column ecosystem and biogeochemistry in southern Kaneohe Bay, but the perturbations are only transient events.
Description: xv, 196 leaves
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/7044
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:M.S. - Oceanography



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