Date of Graduation

Summer 2018


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Robert Pavlowsky


Urban and agricultural land uses are important sources of nitrogen and phosphorus which, if in excess, can cause eutrophication in lakes and rivers. There have been few studies of nutrient transport and storage in karst spring and reservoir connected stream systems draining the Missouri Ozarks. This study aims to link the baseflow nutrient contributions of Sanders Spring to downstream reservoir outflow and the Headwaters South Dry Sac River Watershed in Springfield, Missouri. Water samples were collected seasonally and analyzed for total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), and several other water quality parameters. Discharge was also monitored to calculate water and nutrient budgets. Water did not flow over the dam during 65% of the study period, but baseflow from Sanders Spring may have still provided 46% of the total flow at the South Dry Sac River gage. Typically, TN and TP concentrations were higher at Sanders Spring compared to the reservoir outlet and the South Dry Sac River. However, TP concentrations increased significantly at the reservoir outlet during a high spring baseflow. Nearly 33% of baseflow from Sanders Spring is lost by seepage from the reservoir. Future work should include stormflow analysis to understand how the reservoir may be functioning as a source or sink of nutrients to the river and to better understand subsurface flow through the karst system.


water quality, reservoir, nutrients, karst, spring, phosphorus, nitrogen

Subject Categories

Environmental Monitoring | Hydrology | Water Resource Management


© Heather A. Moule

Open Access