Sediment Phosphorus Dynamics in the Blanchard River

Rebecca Beres, Ohio Northern University

Description

Eutrophication is a persistent problem in freshwater systems caused by excessive nutrients entering lakes and rivers, frequently from agricultural. This is particularly the case in the western Lake Erie basin (WLEB), where annual harmful algal blooms have resulted in significant negative impacts over the past decade. Progress has been made in implementing agricultural best management practices (e.g., filter strips, no-till, etc.), but high nutrient loads persist. Legacy phosphorus – phosphorus retained in the soil and sediment over long periods – has been identified as a potential source of excess P. However, a systematic analysis of sediment-phosphorus dynamics in the basin has not been performed. This study begins to address the relative strength of P sources and sinks in benthic sediment of a WLEB tributary, the Blanchard River (Ohio). Through batch equilibrium studies, the equilibrium P concentration was determined at various sites along the river. From these studies, the overall contribution of the Blanchard to P loading in the WLEB was estimated.

 
Apr 24th, 9:00 AM

Sediment Phosphorus Dynamics in the Blanchard River

Eutrophication is a persistent problem in freshwater systems caused by excessive nutrients entering lakes and rivers, frequently from agricultural. This is particularly the case in the western Lake Erie basin (WLEB), where annual harmful algal blooms have resulted in significant negative impacts over the past decade. Progress has been made in implementing agricultural best management practices (e.g., filter strips, no-till, etc.), but high nutrient loads persist. Legacy phosphorus – phosphorus retained in the soil and sediment over long periods – has been identified as a potential source of excess P. However, a systematic analysis of sediment-phosphorus dynamics in the basin has not been performed. This study begins to address the relative strength of P sources and sinks in benthic sediment of a WLEB tributary, the Blanchard River (Ohio). Through batch equilibrium studies, the equilibrium P concentration was determined at various sites along the river. From these studies, the overall contribution of the Blanchard to P loading in the WLEB was estimated.