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Title: Detecting Signals of Large–Scale Climate Phenomena in Discharge and Nutrient Loads in the Mississippi–Atchafalaya River Basin

Abstract

Agricultural runoff from the Mississippi–Atchafalaya River Basin delivers nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) to the Gulf of Mexico, causing hypoxia, and climate drives interannual variation in nutrient loads. Climate phenomena such as El Niño–Southern Oscillation may influence nutrient export through effects on river flow, nutrient uptake, or biogeochemical transformation, but landscape variation at smaller spatial scales can mask climate signals in load or discharge time series within large river networks. Here, we used multivariate autoregressive state–space modeling to investigate climate signals in the long–term record (1979–2014) of discharge, N, P, and SiO 2 loads at three nested spatial scales within the Mississippi–Atchafalaya River Basin. We detected significant signals of El Niño–Southern Oscillation and land–surface temperature anomalies in N loads but not discharge, SiO 2, or P, suggesting that large–scale climate phenomena contribute to interannual variation in nutrient loads through biogeochemical mechanisms beyond simple discharge–load relationships.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [5];  [6]; ORCiD logo [7];  [8]; ORCiD logo [8]
  1. Univ. of Washington, St. Louis, MO (United States); Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
  2. Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK (United States); Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (Canada)
  3. Indiana Univ., Bloomington, IN (United States)
  4. U.S. Geological Survey, Tucson, AZ (United States)
  5. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  6. Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition, Juneau, AK (United States)
  7. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Seattle, WA (United States)
  8. Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1510591
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1504813
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 46; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; nitrogen; phosphorous; multivariate autoregressive state space models; climate; time series analysis; rivers

Citation Formats

Smits, Adrianne P., Ruffing, Claire M., Royer, Todd V., Appling, Alison P., Griffiths, Natalie A., Bellmore, Rebecca, Scheuerell, Mark D., Harms, Tamara K., and Jones, Jeremy B. Detecting Signals of Large–Scale Climate Phenomena in Discharge and Nutrient Loads in the Mississippi–Atchafalaya River Basin. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1029/2018GL081166.
Smits, Adrianne P., Ruffing, Claire M., Royer, Todd V., Appling, Alison P., Griffiths, Natalie A., Bellmore, Rebecca, Scheuerell, Mark D., Harms, Tamara K., & Jones, Jeremy B. Detecting Signals of Large–Scale Climate Phenomena in Discharge and Nutrient Loads in the Mississippi–Atchafalaya River Basin. United States. doi:10.1029/2018GL081166.
Smits, Adrianne P., Ruffing, Claire M., Royer, Todd V., Appling, Alison P., Griffiths, Natalie A., Bellmore, Rebecca, Scheuerell, Mark D., Harms, Tamara K., and Jones, Jeremy B. Mon . "Detecting Signals of Large–Scale Climate Phenomena in Discharge and Nutrient Loads in the Mississippi–Atchafalaya River Basin". United States. doi:10.1029/2018GL081166.
@article{osti_1510591,
title = {Detecting Signals of Large–Scale Climate Phenomena in Discharge and Nutrient Loads in the Mississippi–Atchafalaya River Basin},
author = {Smits, Adrianne P. and Ruffing, Claire M. and Royer, Todd V. and Appling, Alison P. and Griffiths, Natalie A. and Bellmore, Rebecca and Scheuerell, Mark D. and Harms, Tamara K. and Jones, Jeremy B.},
abstractNote = {Agricultural runoff from the Mississippi–Atchafalaya River Basin delivers nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) to the Gulf of Mexico, causing hypoxia, and climate drives interannual variation in nutrient loads. Climate phenomena such as El Niño–Southern Oscillation may influence nutrient export through effects on river flow, nutrient uptake, or biogeochemical transformation, but landscape variation at smaller spatial scales can mask climate signals in load or discharge time series within large river networks. Here, we used multivariate autoregressive state–space modeling to investigate climate signals in the long–term record (1979–2014) of discharge, N, P, and SiO2 loads at three nested spatial scales within the Mississippi–Atchafalaya River Basin. We detected significant signals of El Niño–Southern Oscillation and land–surface temperature anomalies in N loads but not discharge, SiO2, or P, suggesting that large–scale climate phenomena contribute to interannual variation in nutrient loads through biogeochemical mechanisms beyond simple discharge–load relationships.},
doi = {10.1029/2018GL081166},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
issn = {0094-8276},
number = 7,
volume = 46,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {3}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
This content will become publicly available on March 18, 2020
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