Date of Award

Winter 2015

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Anne Lightbody

Second Advisor

Wilfred Wollheim

Third Advisor

J. Matthew Davis


Wetlands may play an important role in the removal of nutrients from river networks. In order to better understand this process, field observations for eight wetland-dominated reaches in coastal Massachusetts and New Hampshire were parameterized for transient storage and nutrient uptake rate constants. Transient storage was observed in all study wetlands, but the amount of storage and how connected the storage areas were to the wetland channel were not easily related to wetland physical characteristics: including wetland length, wetland width, wetland area, sinuosity, and length-to-width ratios, depth of the off-channel area, width of the off-channel area, cross-sectional area of the off-channel area, depth of the channelized area, width of the channelized area, cross-sectional area of the channeled area, and the relative size of the off-channel area. However, a range of transport parameters were obtained. Wetland-dominated reaches were observed to have different transport parameters than previous observations for streams including higher relative storage size, and lower advective velocities when compared to adjacent streams. Reach-scale nitrate uptake rate constants were similar to previously studied wetlands and streams. Finally, it was determined wetland-dominated reaches should be included in network models separately from channelized reaches by using different transport characteristics.