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Long-term observations of the vertical distributions of mineral elements and phosphorus dynamics in sediments in a shallow eutrophic lake in Japan

Shimotori, Koichi, Imai, Akio, Kohzu, Ayato, Komatsu, Kazuhiro, Koshikawa, Masami Kanao, Hayashi, Seiji, Watanabe, Mirai
Journal of soils and sediments 2019 v.19 no.3 pp. 1566-1575
aluminum, aluminum oxide, atomic absorption spectrometry, calcium, eutrophication, ferric oxide, ions, iron, lakes, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphates, phosphorus, regression analysis, sediments, sulfur, temporal variation, Japan
PURPOSE: To explore the mechanisms in the deposition and release of phosphorus (P) in the sediment of a shallow eutrophic lake using preserved samples, we investigated the vertical and temporal changes in P, manganese (Mn), sulfur (S), iron (Fe), aluminum (Al), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) in the sediment samples and the phosphate in the sediment pore water samples over a period of 6 years. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The upper 15 cm of sediment from Lake Kasumigaura in Japan was collected monthly from 2003 to 2008 from the center of the lake. Sediment cores were divided into seven depth segments and were acid-digested for an elemental analysis via inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy. Phosphate concentrations of the sediment pore water were determined using the molybdenum blue method. A multiple regression analysis was conducted by setting the P content as the response variable and Mn, S, Fe, Al, Ca, and Mg as explanatory variables. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The results of the multiple regression analysis demonstrated that P co-precipitates with Fe and Al oxides and accumulates on the sediment surface. The vertical distributions of Mn and S suggest that Mn reduction occurs within the 0–1-cm-depth layer of the sediment and that iron sulfide is actively formed in the 6–10-cm-depth layer of the sediment. These findings imply that the layer in which ferric oxides are reduced to ferrous ions is present near the 1–6-cm-depth layer of the sediment. This layer corresponds to the layer in which the maximum phosphate concentration of the sediment pore water often occurred (the 2–6-cm-depth layer). These results indicate that vertical distributions of mineral elements are useful for assessing P dynamics in sediments. CONCLUSIONS: The lake sediments record the dynamics of P in the sediment. Our analytical approach using long-term observation data demonstrated that the accumulation and release of P associated with a change in the redox state can be assessed based on the vertical distributions of mineral elements in the lake sediments.