Sediment-Water Interrelationship

  • Yoram Avnimelech
Part of the Environmental Series book series (ESE)


The bottom soil of water bodies such as reservoirs, ponds, and shallow lakes acts as the storage, regulation and buffer organ of the system. As an illustration, the quantities of several components in the bottom soil can be compared to the equivalent terms in the water. The range of concentrations in the water of organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus of shallow lakes reservoirs and impoundments are in the order of 10-102, 0.1-101 and 10-2-10-1 ppm (parts per million) respectively. The equivalent concentrations in bottom soils are in the order of 104-105 ppm organic carbon, 103 ppm total nitrogen and 103 to 104 ppm of total phosphorus. Thus, the concentrations in the bottom soil are about 3 orders of magnitude higher than those in the water. The concentration of phosphorus in the soil may be up to 5 orders of magnitude higher than in the water. Total phosphorus concentration in the water of the Sea of Galilee, Israel, is in the order of 10-2 ppm, while that in the sediment is in the order of 103 ppm (about 0.3%). Putting this differently, the amount of C or N in 1 cm deep bottom soil layer is equivalent to that found in a water column of about 10 m or, in the case of P, in a water column 1000 m deep! Very similar data are relevant for the distribution of other components, such as heavy metals.


Rice Straw Sediment Trap Total Phosphorus Concentration Nutrient Balance Fish Pond 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

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  • Yoram Avnimelech

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