Date of Award

8-1987

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor

Dr. Richard N. Passero

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Kehew

Third Advisor

Dr. W. Thomas Straw

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

In the central part of Schoolcraft Township high yield corn crops are successfully grown on soils developed on permeable outwash deposits. The high yields are made possible with the utilization of modern irrigation techniques and regular application of nitrogen fertilizer.

Excess nitrogen which moves past the root zone is easily converted to nitrate and leached to the shallow ground water. Water quality data from 103 ground-water samples in the vicinity of a 160-acre corn field in Section 11 clearly indicate that nitrate concentrations in the ground water beneath the field and beneath the area immediately downgradient from the field are much higher than natural background levels.

Domestic water wells, located downgradient from fertilized corn fields in central Schoolcraft County, often contain nitrate concentrations in excess of the Environmental Protection Agency's primary standard of 10 mg/l (as N). Ingestion of water from these wells poses serious health threats to infants.

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