Concentrations and characteristics of organic carbon in surface water in Arizona: Influence of urbanization

Paul Westerhoff, D. Anning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

94 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dissolved (DOC) and total (TOC) organic carbon concentrations and compositions were studied for several river systems in Arizona, USA. DOC composition was characterized by ultraviolet and visible absorption and fluorescence emission (excitation wavelength of 370 nm) spectra characteristics. Ephemeral sites had the highest DOC concentrations, and unregulated perennial sites had lower concentrations than unregulated intermittent sites, regulated sites, and sites downstream from wastewater-treatment plants (p < 0.05). Reservoir outflows and wastewater-treatment plant effluent were higher in DOC concentration (p < 0.05) and exhibited less variability in concentration than inflows to the reservoirs. Specific ultraviolet absorbance values at 254 nm were typically less than 2 m-1(milligram DOC per liter)-1 and lower than values found in most temperate-region rivers, but specific ultraviolet absorbance values increased during runoff events. Fluorescence measurements indicated that DOC in desert streams typically exhibit characteristics of autochthonous sources; however, DOC in unregulated upland rivers and desert streams experienced sudden shifts from autochthonous to allochthonous sources during runoff events. The urban water system (reservoir systems and wastewater-treatment plants) was found to affect temporal variability in DOC concentration and composition. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-222
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Volume236
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 30 2000

Fingerprint

wastewater treatment
urbanization
surface water
organic carbon
absorbance
rivers
carbon
deserts
runoff
fluorescence
desert
river
river system
total organic carbon
effluents
wavelengths
highlands
inflow
outflow
effluent

Keywords

  • Arid watershed
  • Fluorescence
  • Hydrology
  • Organic carbon
  • Ultraviolet
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Earth-Surface Processes

Cite this

Concentrations and characteristics of organic carbon in surface water in Arizona : Influence of urbanization. / Westerhoff, Paul; Anning, D.

In: Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 236, No. 3-4, 30.09.2000, p. 202-222.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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