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A comparison of phosphorus retention in lakes determined from mass balance and sediment core calculations

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Title: A comparison of phosphorus retention in lakes determined from mass balance and sediment core calculations
Author: Dillon, P. J.; Evans, H. E.
Abstract: Phosphorus retention (TPacc) was determined in 7 lakes in Ontario, Canada from mass balances and from the direct measurement of phosphorus accumulation in the sediments. Phosphorus retentions determined using the mass balance technique ranged between 20 ± 3.9 and 94 ± 23 mg/m2/yr and were slightly lower than those calculated by multiplying sediment total phosphorus (TP) concentrations by sediment accumulation rates (49 ± 14 to 135 ± 48 mg/m2/yr). The lower TPacc values measured using the mass balance approach may result from the underestimation of external TP inputs. Alternatively, it is suggested that in the more acidic lakes, a decrease in TP concentrations in the lakewaters and/or a decrease in TP export from the catchment may have resulted in a decrease in TPacc through time. Thus, relatively higher TPacc values calculated using the sediment approach (since TPacc values calculated from the sediment data are averaged over a greater number of years than those calculated from the mass balance data). Provided several cores are collected from the lake, the direct measurement of sediment TP and sediment accumulation rates for estimating TPacc may be a suitable alternative to mass balances, especially in situations where it is not possible to measure all inputs of TP to the lake.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/15792
Date: 1992
Rights: Queen's Printer for Ontario, Crown Copyright, Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Rights Holder: Queen's Printer for Ontario


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