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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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Community news

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That oxbow is abandoned loop of a stream course, original usage, applied to surface rivers, describes short-circuited meander loops but in caves the term is applied to dry loop passages of any shape and origin [9].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms


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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for nitrogen (Keyword) returned 47 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 47
Ecological assessment and geological significance of microbial communities from Cesspool Cave, Virginia, 2001,
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Engel As, Porter Ml, Kinkle Bk, Kane Tc,
Microbial mats from hydrogen sulfide-rich waters and cave-wall biofilms were investigated from Cesspool Cave, Virginia, to determine community composition and potential geomicrobiological functioning of acid-producing bacteria. Rates of microbial mat chemoautotrophic productivity were estimated using [C-14]-bicarbonate incorporations and microbial heterotrophy was determined using [C-14]-leucine incubations. Chemoautotrophic fixation was measured at 30.4 12.0 ng C mg dry wt(1) h(1), whereas heterotrophic productivity was significantly less at 0.17 0.02 ng C mg dry wt(1) h(1). The carbon to nitrogen ratios of the microbial mats averaged 13.5, indicating that the mats are not a high quality food source for higher trophic levels. Ribosomal RNA-based methods were used to examine bacterial diversity in the microbial mats, revealing the presence of at least five strains of bacteria. The identity of some of the strains could be resolved to the genus Thiothrix and the Flexibacter-Cytophaga-Bacteriodes phylum, and the identity of the remaining strains was to either the Helicobacter or Thiovulum group. Two of 10 sulfur-oxidizing, chemoautotrophic pure cultures of Thiobacillus spp. (syn. Thiomonas gen. nov.) demonstrated the ability to corrode calcium carbonate, suggesting that the colonization and metabolic activity of these bacteria may be enhancing cave enlargement

Results from the Big Spring basin water quality monitoring and demonstration projects, Iowa, USA, 2001,
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Rowden R. D. , Liu H. B. , Libra R. D. ,
Agricultural practices, hydrology, and water quality of the 267-km(2) Big Spring groundwater drainage basin in Clayton County, Iowa, have been monitored since 1981. Land use is agricultural; nitrate-nitrogen (-N) and herbicides are the resulting contaminants in groundwater and surface water. Ordovician Galena Group carbonate rocks comprise the main aquifer in the basin. Recharge to this karstic aquifer is by infiltration, augmented by sinkhole-captured runoff. Groundwater is discharged at Big Spring, where quantity and quality of the discharge are monitored. Monitoring has shown a threefold increase in groundwater nitrate-N concentrations from the 1960s to the early 1980s. The nitrate-N discharged from the basin typically is equivalent to over one-third of the nitrogen fertilizer applied, with larger losses during wetter years. Atrazine is present in groundwater all year; however, contaminant concentrations in the groundwater respond directly to recharge events, and unique chemical signatures of infiltration versus runoff recharge are detectable in the discharge from Big Spring. Education and demonstration efforts have reduced nitrogen fertilizer application rates by one-third since 1981. Relating declines in nitrate and pesticide concentrations to inputs of nitrogen fertilizer and pesticides at Big Spring is problematic. Annual recharge has varied five-fold during monitoring, overshadowing any water-quality improvements resulting from incrementally decreased inputs

The hypogenic caves: a powerful tool for the study of seeps and their environmental effects, 2002,
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Forti P, Galdenzi S, Sarbu Sm,
Research performed in caves has shown the existence of significant effects of gas seeps, especially CO2 and H2S, within subterranean voids. Carbon dioxide causes important corrosive effects and creates characteristic morphologies (e.g., bell-shaped domes, bubble's trails), but is not involved in the deposition of specific cave minerals. On the other hand, in carbonate environments, hydrogen sulfide when oxidized in the shallow sections of the aquifer generates important corrosion effects and is also responsible for the deposition of specific minerals of which gypsum is the most common.Studies performed in the last few years have shown that H2S seeps in caves are associated with rich and diverse biological communities, consisting of large numbers of endemic species. Stable isotope studies (carbon and nitrogen) have demonstrated that these hypogean ecosystems are entirely based on in situ production of food by chemoautotrophic microorganisms using energy resulting from the oxidation of H2S.Although located only 20 m under the surface, Movile Cave does not receive meteoric waters due to a layer of impermeable clays and loess that covers the Miocene limestone in which the cave is developed. In the Frasassi caves, where certain amounts of meteoric water seep into the limestone, the subterranean ecosystems are still isolated from the surface. As the deep sulfidic waters mix with the oxigenated meteoric waters, sulfuric acid limestone corrosion is accelerated resulting in widespread deposition of gypsum onto the cave walls.Both these caves have raised a lot of interest for biological investigations regarding the chemoautotrophically based ecosystems, demonstrating the possibility of performing such studies in environments that are easily accessible and easy to monitor compared to the deep-sea environments where the first gas seeps were discovered

Nitrogen budgets and environmental capacity in farm systems in a large-scale karst region, southern China, 2002,
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Hatano Ryusuke, Shinano Takuro, Taigen Zheng, Okubo Masahiko, Zuowei Li,

Stable Isotope Values of Bone Organic Matter: Artificial Diagenesis Experiments and Paleoecology of Natural Trap Cave, Wyoming, 2002,
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Mcnulty T. H. O. M. , Calkins A. N. D. E. , Ostrom P. E. G. G. , Gandhi H. A. S. A. , Gottfried M. I. C. H. , Martin L. A. R. R. , Gage D. O. U. G. ,
The presence of original organic matter and retention of an indigenous isotopic signal in fossils have been disputed for years. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the influence of diagenesis on bone-protein isotope values, analyses were conducted on Holocene and Pleistocene fossils from Natural Trap Cave (NTC), Wyoming. Modern cow, Bos taurus, bone was heated with and without excess water for up to 195 hours at 100{degrees}C in an inert atmosphere. Collagen and non-collagenous proteins (NCP) were extracted and analyzed isotopically. Under dry conditions, carbon and nitrogen isotope values change by less than 0.4{per thousand} during the 0 to 195 hour interval. In the presence of excess water, carbon and nitrogen isotope values change by no more than 1.0{per thousand} and 0.5{per thousand}, respectively, over 192 hours. The relative abundance of amino acids of collagen from heated bone differs by less than 10% from that of unheated collagen. Protein preservation is indicated by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) that strongly indicates a portion of the original osteocalcin exists intact in samples heated for 195 hours. Good preservation of collagen in NTC fossils is implied by high collagen yields, C:N, and realistic trophic structures based on isotope values. Carbon and nitrogen isotope values of ancient collagen increase with trophic level, allow dietary assessments to be made, and differentiate between ruminant and non-ruminants. The results indicate that isotope values are resilient during simulated diagenesis and suggest that an indigenous isotopic signal can exist in well-preserved fossils such as those from NTC

Diverse microbial communities inhabiting ferromanganese deposits in Lechuguilla and Spider Caves, 2003,
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Northup D. E. , Barns S. M. , Yu L. E. , Spilde M. N. , Schelble R. T. , Dano K. E. , Crossey L. J. , Connolly C. A. , Boston P. J. , Natvig D. O. , Dahm C. N. ,
Lechuguilla Cave is an ancient, deep, oligotrophic subterranean environment that contains an abundance of low-density ferromanganese deposits, the origin of which is uncertain. To assess the possibility that biotic factors may be involved in the production of these deposits and to investigate the nature of the microbial community in these materials, we carried out culture-independent, small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) sequence-based studies from two sites and from manganese and iron enrichment cultures inoculated with ferromanganese deposits from Lechuguilla and Spider Caves. Sequence analysis showed the presence of some organisms whose closest relatives are known iron- and manganese-oxidizing/reducing bacteria, including Hyphomicrobium, Pedomicrobium, Leptospirillum, Stenotrophomonas and Pantoea. The dominant clone types in one site grouped with mesophilic Archaea in both the Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota. The second site was dominated almost entirely by lactobacilli. Other clone sequences were most closely related to those of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, actinomycetes and beta- and gamma-Proteobacteria. Geochemical analyses showed a fourfold enrichment of oxidized iron and manganese from bedrock to darkest ferromanganese deposits. These data support our hypothesis that microorganisms may contribute to the formation of manganese and iron oxide-rich deposits and a diverse microbial community is present in these unusual secondary mineral formations

Groundwater chemical composition changes in the Dubravsky Massif hydrogeological structure, induced by magnesite exploitation, 2004,
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Bajtos P,
Exploited magnesite bodies of the Dubravsky Massif create parts of karst-fissure aquifer confined by Carboniferous metamorphic rocks of low fissure permeability. Extensive mining progress caused considerable changes in both groundwater circulation and groundwater chemical composition of the aquifer. A model of groundwater chemical composition genesis in such complicated conditions is presented in this paper. Saturation indices (SI) for chosen minerals were computed based on speciation modelling, which indicate oversaturation of groundwater with magnesite, dolomite, calcite, and undersaturation with gypsum in all saturated zone of karst-fissure aquifer. Statistical interpretations of hydrochemical data suppose that anthropogenically unaffected groundwater, where mineralisation is slightly altered by pyrite oxidation in dolomitic environment, represents hydrogeochemical background within the aquifer. It is supposed, that azonic acid, generated by condensation of nitrogen-rich gases freeing by blast-firings in mine, accelerate magnesite and dolomite dissolution. Produced groundwater types are of higher content of NO3, Mg and TIC in comparison with background values. Estimated acceleration of karstification processes due to underground mining is about 1.5 times. In spite of detected contamination, threshold values of drinking water standard, given by the Edict of the Slovak Ministry of Health Care No. 29 / 2002 Z. z. are not markedly exceeded for tested parameters. Future possible exploitation of studied aquifer after mining termination is not excluded

Sources of nitrate contamination and age of water in large karstic springs of Florida, 2004,
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Katz B. G. ,
In response to concerns about the steady increase in nitrate concentrations over the past several decades in many of Florida's first magnitude spring waters (discharge greater than or equal to2.8 m(3)/s), multiple isotopic and other chemical tracers were analyzed in water samples from 12 large springs to assess sources and timescales of nitrate contamination. Nitrate-N concentrations in spring waters ranged from 0.50 to 4.2 mg/L, and delta(15)N values of nitrate in spring waters ranged from 2.6 to 7.9 per mil. Most delta(15)N values were below 6 per mil indicating that inorganic fertilizers were the dominant source of nitrogen in these waters. Apparent ages of groundwater discharging from springs ranged from 5 to about 35-years, based on multi-tracer analyses (CFC-12, CFC-113, SF6, H-3/He-3) and a piston flow assumption; however, apparent tracer ages generally were not concordant. The most reliable spring-water ages appear to be based on tritium and He-3 data, because concentrations of CFCs and SF6 in several spring waters were much higher than would be expected from equilibration with modern atmospheric concentrations. Data for all tracers were most consistent with output curves for exponential and binary mixing models that represent mixtures of water in the Upper Floridan aquifer recharged since the early 1960s. Given that groundwater transit times are on the order of decades and are related to the prolonged input of nitrogen from multiple sources to the aquifer, nitrate could persist in groundwater that flows toward springs for several decades due to slow transport of solutes through the aquifer matrix

Lithuanian karst region rivers' water ecology: hydrochemical and hydrobiological evaluation, 2004,
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Tumas R. ,
The Lithuanian karst region covers about 1000 km(3) in the northern part of the country. This is the most vulnerable area from a pollution point of view. The structure of the total dissolved solids (TDS) shows that the flow of rivers in the karst region is from hydraulically interconnected aquifers. For the last decade (1991-2000) TDS has varied considerably, from 529 to 732 mg/l. The predominant sources of nitrogen and phosphorus within the headwaters of the monitored rivers were diffuse and agricultural in nature. Downstream from the towns nitrogen and especially phosphorus showed both diffuse and point source signals. Contributions of point sources to the stream pollution by nutrients prevail. The time series of monthly dissolved oxygen (O-2) in the main karst region river - the Musa - shows the existence of multiplicative seasonality. The trend cycle (1991-1999) shows low levels of dissolved oxygen in 1991-1993, with a similar fluctuation in 1994, 1995 and 1996 (due to point pollution from the town of Siauliai) and a gradually improving situation since 1997. The general multiplicative trend of dissolved oxygen in the lower reaches of the Musa river (near the border with Latvia) is decreasing (within the accuracy limits). The abundance and species of zoo benthos are suitable criteria (biotic index - 131) for evaluation of a river's biological water quality. Zoo benthos demonstrates tolerances that vary among species, the oxygen regime and the pollution with nitrogen. The best living conditions for invertebrates are in the riverhead of the karst region rivers - 131 = 5.62-6.74 (1991-1999), where pollution with nutrients is caused mostly by agricultural activity. Rare and asynchronous data of biological water quality shows up tendencies that invertebrates prefer less contaminated reaches of rivers

Estimation of denitrification potential in a karst aquifer using the N-15 and O-18 isotopes of NO3-, 2005,
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Einsiedl F, Maloszewski P, Stichler W,
A confined aquifer in the Malm Karst of the Franconian Alb, South Germany was investigated in order to understand the role of the vadose zone in denitrifiaction processes. The concentrations of chemical tracers Sr2 and Cl- and concentrations of stable isotope O-18 were measured in spring water and precipitation during storm events. Based on these measurements a conceptual model for runoff was constructed. The results indicate that pre-event water, already stored in the system at the beginning of the event, flows downslope on vertical and lateral preferential flow paths. Chemical tracers used in a mixing model for hydrograph separation have shown that the pre-event water contribution is up to 30%. Applying this information to a conceptual runoff generation model, the values of delta(15)N and delta(18)O in nitrate could be calculated. Field observations showed the occurence of significant microbial denitrification processes above the soil/ bedrock interface before nitrate percolates through to the deeper horizon of the vadose zone. The source of nitrate could be determined and denitrification processes were calculated. Assuming that the nitrate reduction follows a Rayleigh process one could approximate a nitrate input concentration of about 170 mg/l and a residual nitrate concentration of only about 15%. The results of the chemical and isotopic tracers postulate fertilizers as nitrate source with some influence of atmospheric nitrate. The combined application of hydrograph separation and determination of isotope values in delta(15)N and delta(18)O of nitrate lead to an improved understanding of microbial processes (nitrification, denitrification) in dynamic systems

Discriminating Sources and Flowpaths of Anthropogenic Nitrogen Discharges to Florida Springs, Streams and Lakes, 2005,
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Bacchus St, Barile Pj,
Surface discharges of anthropogenic nutrients historically have been the focus of Florida's water-quality regulations. Groundwater contributions to eutrophication of Florida's surface waters are a more recent focus. Florida's naturally oligotrophic springs, streams, and lakes are experiencing significant anthropogenic nutrient contamination resulting from groundwater discharges with elevated nitrate. Sources of nitrate contamination to these surface-water ecosystems include sewage effluent, industrial animal waste (concentrated animal feedlot operations) and inorganic fertilizers. In this study, stable nitrogen isotope ({delta}15N) analysis of freshwater macrophytes was combined with basic knowledge of watershed and springshed land use and aquifer characteristics to provide evidence of nitrogen contamination sources and groundwater flowpaths. Selected naturally oligotrophic ecosystems included springs and a spring-run stream within the Ocala National Forest (ONF) and springs, a blackwater stream, and a sinkhole lake on or adjacent to state lands. Elevated {delta}15N values ([~] 8 to 12{per thousand}) in ONF macrophytes indicated nitrogen contamination from sewage effluent. Underground injections of effluent and other wastes at ONF's Alexander and Juniper Springs Recreation Areas are the sole source of contaminants flowing through the sandy, surficial aquifer at those study areas. Samples from springs on state lands indicated nitrogen contamination from various sources via regional groundwater flowpaths. At Lake Placid's state lands, a dairy-waste lagoon was the groundwater source of nitrogen contamination via the sandy, surficial aquifer. Bulow Creek {delta}15N macrophyte values ([~] 5 to 8{per thousand}) suggested contamination from both cattle and septic tank leachate. Results indicated that uptake of anthropogenic nitrogen occurred in invasive alien and nuisance native macrophytes in the four freshwater ecosystem types evaluated

Spatial and temporal changes in the structure of groundwater nitrate concentration time series (1935-1999) as demonstrated by autoregressive modelling, 2005,
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Jones A. L. , Smart P. L. ,
Autoregressive modelling is used to investigate the internal structure of long-term (1935-1999) records of nitrate concentration for five karst springs in the Mendip Hills. There is a significant short term (1-2 months) positive autocorrelation at three of the five springs due to the availability of sufficient nitrate within the soil store to maintain concentrations in winter recharge for several months. The absence of short term (1-2 months) positive autocorrelation in the other two springs is due to the marked contrast in land use between the limestone and swallet parts of the catchment, rapid concentrated recharge from the latter causing short term switching in the dominant water source at the spring and thus fluctuating nitrate concentrations. Significant negative autocorrelation is evident at lags varying from 4 to 7 months through to 14-22 months for individual springs, with positive autocorrelation at 19-20 months at one site. This variable timing is explained by moderation of the exhaustion effect in the soil by groundwater storage, which gives longer residence times in large catchments and those with a dominance of diffuse flow. The lags derived from autoregressive modelling may therefore provide an indication of average groundwater residence times. Significant differences in the structure of the autocorrelation function for successive 10-year periods are evident at Cheddar Spring, and are explained by the effect the ploughing up of grasslands during the Second World War and increased fertiliser usage on available nitrogen in the soil store. This effect is moderated by the influence of summer temperatures on rates of mineralization, and of both summer and winter rainfall on the timing and magnitude of nitrate leaching. The pattern of nitrate leaching also appears to have been perturbed by the 1976 drought. (C) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Nitrogen Cycling with Respect to Environmental Load in Farm Systems in Southwest China, 2005,
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Liang Lei, Nagumo Toshiyuki, Hatano Ryusuke,

Land use change and soil nutrient transformations in the Los Haitises region of the Dominican Republic, 2005,
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Templer P. H. , Groffman P. M. , Flecker A. S. , Power A. G. ,
We characterized soil cation, carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) transformations within a variety of land use types in the karst region of the northeastern Dominican Republic. We examined a range of soil pools and fluxes during the wet and dry seasons in undisturbed forest, regenerating forest and active agricultural sites within and directly adjacent to Los Haitises National Park. Soil moisture, soil organic matter (SOM), soil cations, leaf litter C and pH were significantly greater in regenerating forest sites than agricultural sites, while bulk density was greater in active agricultural sites. Potential denitrification, microbial biomass C and N, and microbial respiration g(-1) dry soil were significantly greater in the regenerating forest sites than in the active agricultural sites. However, net mineralization, net nitrification, microbial biomass C, and microbial respiration were all significantly greater in the agricultural sites on g(-1) SOM basis. These results suggest that land use is indirectly affecting microbial activity and C storage through its effect on SOM quality and quantity. While agriculture can significantly decrease soil fertility, it appears that the trend can begin to rapidly reverse with the abandonment of agriculture and the subsequent regeneration of forest. The regenerating forest soils were taken out of agricultural use only 5-7 years before our study and already have soil properties and processes similar to an undisturbed old forest site. Compared to undisturbed mogote forest sites, regenerating sites had smaller amounts of SOM and microbial biomass N, as well as lower rates of microbial respiration, mineralization and nitrification g(-1) SOM. Initial recovery of soil pools and processes appeared to be rapid, but additional research must be done to address the long-term rate of recovery in these forest stands. (C) 2004, Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Incorporation of Auxiliary Information in the Geostatistical Simulation of Soil Nitrate Nitrogen, 2006,
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Grunwald S. , Goovaerts P. , Bliss C. M. , Comerford N. B. , Lamsal S. ,
In north-central Florida the potential risk for movement of nitrate into the aquifer is high due to the large extent of well-drained marine-derived quartz sand overlying porous limestone material coupled with high precipitation rates. Our objective was to estimate spatio-seasonal distributions of soil NO3-N across the Santa Fe River Watershed in north-central Florida. We conducted spatially distributed synoptic and seasonal sampling (September 2003--wet summer/fall season, January 2004--dry winter season, May 2004--dry spring season) of soil NO3-N. Prior distributions of probability for NO3-N were inferred at each location across the watershed using ordered logistic regression. Explanatory variables included environmental spatial datasets such as land use, drainage class, and the Floridian aquifer DRASTIC index. These prior probabilities were then updated using indicator kriging, and multiple realizations of the spatial distribution of soil NO3-N were generated by sequential indicator simulation. Cross-validation indicated that smaller prediction errors are obtained when secondary information is incorporated in the analysis and when indicator kriging is used instead of ordinary kriging to analyze these datasets characterized by the presence of extreme high values and a nonnegligible number of data below the detection limit. The NO3-N values were lowest in September 2003 as a result of excessive leaching caused by large, intense tropical storms. Overall the NO3-N values in January 2004 were high and could be attributed to fertilization of crops and pastures, low plant uptake, and low microbial transformation during the winter period. Despite seasonal trends reflected by the values of observed and estimated NO3-N, we found areas that showed consistently high soil NO3-N throughout all seasons. Those areas are prime targets to implement best management practices

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