Nitrogen compounds in natural water—A review
Nitrogen compounds in natural water are significant in public health, agriculture, industry, and geochemistry. The many sources of nitrogen compounds and the deep involvement of nitrogen in the life processes of organisms makes the study of such compounds difficult. The sources include natural aerosols, precipitation, fixation by micro‐organisms in soil and water, decaying organic matter, and animal and industrial wastes, as well as probably undiscovered sources in consolidated and unconsolidated rocks. Nitrogen compounds are both oxidized and reduced by organisms. Some nitrogen compounds are adsorbed on clay. The theoretical end product in water and the compound probably most often determined is NO3−1. The concentration of nitregen compounds ranges from 0.0 to >100 ppm (parts per million) in surface water and from 0.0 to >1000 ppm in groundwater. Seasonal fluctuations occur. Much further research is needed, including improvements in methods of analysis, further investigation of sources, and detailed study of the nitrogen cycle in small drainage basins. (Key words: Geochemistry; quality of water.) This paper is not subject to U.S. copyright. Published in 1966 by the American Geophysical Union.