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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 35 No. 4, p. 1181-1192
     
    Received: May 25, 2005


    * Corresponding author(s): fyti@chem.auth.gr
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doi:10.2134/jeq2005.0213

Conditions Affecting the Release of Phosphorus from Surface Lake Sediments

  1. Christophoros Christophoridis and
  2. Konstantinos Fytianos *
  1. Environmental Pollution Control Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GR-541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece

Abstract

Laboratory studies were conducted to determine the effect of pH and redox conditions, as well as the effect of Fe, Mn, Ca, Al, and organic matter, on the release of ortho-phosphates in lake sediments taken from Lakes Koronia and Volvi (Northern Greece). Results were evaluated in combination with experiments to determine P fractionation in the sediment. The study revealed the major effect of redox potential and pH on the release of P from lake sediments. Both lakes showed increased release rates under reductive conditions and high pH values. The fractionation experiments revealed increased mobility of the reductive P fraction as well as of the NaOH-P fraction, indicating participation of both fractions in the overall release of sediment-bound P, depending on the prevailing environmental conditions. The results were assessed in combination with the release patterns of Fe, Mn, Ca, Al, and organic matter, enabling the identification of more specific processes of P release for each lake. The basic release patterns included the redox induced reductive dissolution of P-bearing metal oxides and the competitive exchange of phosphate anions with OH at high pH values. The formation of an oxidized surface microlayer under oxic conditions acted as a protective film, preventing further P release from the sediments of Lake Volvi, while sediments from Lake Koronia exhibited a continuous and increased tendency to release P under various physicochemical conditions, acting as a constant source of internal P loading.

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