Toor will be using four field catchment sites in Maryland for his research that will have a corn soybeans rotation. Most of the sites will also have cover crops. In western Maryland, the team is looking at edge of the field where they can start installing equipment. They are also looking for a field site where the water runs off of the field, so they can install a flume. Toor is using GIS, digital elevation mapping, and remote sensing to identify the points that will work for this research.
On the eastern shore, the topography is very flat and ditches are common. The team has some sites where draining occurs and a few sites that have surface runoff. From these sites, the team can estimate leaching and calculate nitrogen loads. The team is also making progress using isotopes to analyze nitrate sources in the runoff and leached waters. The near-term goal is to determine what could be done on agricultural lands to reduce both nitrogen and phosphorous loading by 20 percent.
PhD Student, University of Maryland