Control mechanisms for dissolved phosphorus and arsenic in a shallow lake

K.L. Linge, Carolyn Oldham

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16 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated P and As sediment remobilisation in Lake Yangebup, a shallow lake with an overlying floe layer that covers the consolidated sediment. This floe is frequently resuspended into the water column, a process that was postulated to produce high P and As lakewater concentrations. Rate investigations using deionised water showed that P and As remobilisation reached steady state after 20 h in the consolidated sediment and within I h for the floe. Floe resuspension in lakewater showed no net release of either P and As, indicating that the floe was in constant equilibrium with the water column. A protocol to distinguish between desorption and dissolution was applied to both sediments and the response of remobilisation to varying slurry density and As addition measured. For the consolidated sediment, the concentration of Fe(II), P and As were unaffected above a slurry density similar to30 g L-1 and added arsenate (10-100 mug L-1) did not significantly change As and P remobilisation. It is shown that these results do not fit an adsorption/desorption equilibrium formulation for P and As remobilisation. Instead, the evidence suggests that the solubility of a thin, non-stoichiometric FePxFeAsy oxyhydroxide surface coating determined the remobilisation process. Data scatter lead to some uncertainty in the floe results but suggest that dissolved P is controlled by dissolution, while dissolved As is controlled by adsorption/desorption. The results conclusively show that P and As remobilisation was lower from the floe than from the consolidated sediment and that the removal of the floe would not lower P and As lakewater concentrations. Implications of these results for the management of As in Lake Yangebup are outlined. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1377-1389
JournalApplied Geochemistry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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