Water, Air, & Soil Pollution: Focus

, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp 443–451

Streambed Sediment Geochemical Controls on In-Stream Phosphorus Concentrations during Baseflow


    • Department of Physical GeographyUtrecht University
  • Philip N. Owens
    • National Soil Resources InstituteCranfield University
  • Lynda K. Deeks
    • National Soil Resources InstituteCranfield University
  • Barry G. Rawlins
    • British Geological Survey

DOI: 10.1007/s11267-006-9058-x

Cite this article as:
van der Perk, M., Owens, P.N., Deeks, L.K. et al. Water Air Soil Pollut: Focus (2006) 6: 443. doi:10.1007/s11267-006-9058-x


A spatially extensive geochemical data set of stream water and bed sediment composition across the Tamar catchment in south-west England was analysed to identify the key bed sediment properties that control the in-stream dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) concentrations during baseflow conditions. Linear regression analysis of the streamwater DRP concentrations and the distribution coefficient Kd for DRP revealed that the former is positively correlated with total SiO2 and Al2O3, and negatively correlated with K2O. The primary control on these major element distributions is the dominant bedrock geology. The data suggest that streamwater DRP concentrations are mainly controlled by adsorption to clay minerals. Where P concentrations in streamwater were considerably elevated by inputs from point sources, DRP concentrations are also controlled by precipitation of hydroxyapatite.


bed sedimentsdistribution coefficientEnglandgeochemistrymajor element chemistryphosphorusTamar catchment

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006