Comparative analysis of nutrient data in the lower Mississippi Rriver

James E. Bollinger, Laura J. Steinberg, Martha J. Harrison, James P. Crews, Andrew J. Englande, Cruz Velasco-Gonzales, Luann E. White, William J. George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


As the second phase of a large-scale Tulane University Mississippi River water-quality database project, nutrient data on the lower Mississippi River have been examined for potential differences among sampling agencies, geographic locations and chemically similar nitrogen parameters. These data represent the most comprehensive source of information on nutrients in the Mississippi River available as a single database. Monthly means, grouped by parameter, sampling location and agency, were calculated and compared as paired sets, excluding months where data were not available for both sets. Evaluations using ANOVA indicated few differences among agencies providing nitrogen-compound data, although differences were observed in phosphorus-compound data from different sources. Unfiltered and filtered fractions of nitrate-nitrite were found to be comparable throughout the study area. Spatial examination of the nutrient data indicated few differences in inorganic nitrogen concentrations throughout the study area, but significant variability in total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN). Orthophosphate and total phosphorus concentrations increased through the study area from Arkansas [river miles (RM) 500-810] downstream to St. Francisville (RM 231-315), but with little or no change from Baron Rouge (RM 111-230) to the Gulf of Mexico. Results provide a combined data set from which preliminary calculations of daily nutrient loads in the Mississippi River between 1960 and 1997 were conducted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2627-2632
Number of pages6
JournalWater Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Daily loads
  • Interagency comparability
  • Methods comparison
  • Mississippi River
  • Nutrients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative analysis of nutrient data in the lower Mississippi Rriver'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this