Chesapeake Bay Water Cycle and Nitrogen Capture

Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 12.43.06 PMBiological System:

Chesapeake Bay Water Cycle and Nitrogen Capture


Water Source: primarily rain but also irrigation

Sources of pollution: run off, agriculture, animal husbandry

Land Based Sources of Filtration: ground cover, wastewater processing plants

Aquatic Sources of Filtration: mollusk, natural settling


The amount of pollution in the Chesapeake varies seasonally and has several inter dependent factors.  First, we should consider how the current state is changing. I refer to this as influx, or to what degree the new input is polluted, and it is a product of land biased pollution minus the filtration it receives. The next step is determining how water quality has changed sense last input. To do this we consider again the amount of filtration that has accrued naturally and adjust for evaporation. The process of evaporation concentrates the bays holdings of pollution, but is also the eventual source of clean rain.

To better illustrate I’ve written a short equation:

I (Pn-F) + [ W-E (Pe-F) ] = water quality index

I + W – E = Bay’s Water Holdings

I = Influx  Pn =New Pollution Pe = Existing Pollution

F = Filtration W = Current state E = Evaporation


The two very important parts of this system are the relations of filtration to pollution both on land and aqueous. The critical part being the ratio of pollution to filtration . The idea is that you might be able to tell if water restoration projects have been successful or what their long-term impacts might be to overall water quality. Sense current levels are high and the natural processes of removing pollution are low, it could be some time before a change in land based filtration creates substantial results.


The purpose of this system is to better understand the sources of pollution and the factors at play when addressing overall water quality. The idea is that people will realize that it’s actually much easy to prevent the pollution from entering the waterways that it is to remove it after the fact.  I also wanted to demonstrate why during periods of drought and high temperatures why the effects of pollution could be magnified.

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