Comparison of nitrate attenuation characterization methods at the Uranium mill tailing site in Monument Valley, Arizona

Kenneth C. Carroll, Fiona L. Jordan, Edward P. Glenn, W. Jody Waugh, Mark L. Brusseau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Several methods for characterizing the occurrence and rate of nitrate attenuation were tested at a field site near Monument Valley, Arizona. Spatial and temporal nitrate concentration data collected from a transect of monitoring wells located along the plume centerline were analyzed to evaluate the overall rates of natural attenuation. The occurrence and rate of denitrification was evaluated through microcosm experiments, nitrogen isotopic fractionation analysis, and solute-transport modeling. First-order denitrification-rate coefficients calculated with each method were comparable. In addition, the composite natural attenuation rate coefficient was similar to the denitrification-rate coefficients, which suggests that microbially induced decay primarily controls nitrate attenuation at the site. This research highlights the benefits associated with a multiple-method approach for the characterization of natural attenuation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-81
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 15 2009



  • Denitrification
  • Natural attenuation
  • Nitrate
  • Rate coefficient
  • Stable isotope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

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