Nutrient Releases from Anaerobic Sediments

by Paul L. Freedman, (A.M.ASCE), Vice Pres.; Limno-Tech, Ann Arbor, Mich.,
Raymond P. Canale, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 2, Pg. 233-244

Document Type: Journal Paper


Studies were conducted to assess the significance of sediment nutrient release under anaerobic conditions in White Lake. The average sediment nutrient release rates were 25.1 mg P/m²/day soluble reactive phosphorus, 38.0 mg P/m²/day total dissolved phosphorus and 36.2 mg N/m²/day ammonia. The associated net diffusion coefficient across the sediment-water interface was calculated to be 1.0 to 1.5 x 10-5 cm²/s. Theoretical and experimental results for silicon release were not in good agreement. Assessment of the influence of the sediments on lake water quality following nutrient diversion suggest that the sediments have the potential to contribute nutrients to the overlying waters at levels sufficient to support excessive plant growths. As a result, improvements in water quality resulting from the recent White Lake wastewater diversion could be delayed or reduced.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Lakes | Spillways | Nutrients | Sediment | Phosphorus | Quality control | Solubility

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