, Volume 284, Issue 1, pp 43–57

High resolution measurements of sediment resuspension above an accumulation bottom in a stratified lake

  • Donald C. Pierson
  • Gesa. A. Weyhenmeyer


A detailed record of suspended particulate matter (SPM) concentrations in the benthic boundary layer (BBL) 1.5 m above an accumulation bottom and 13.5 m below the surface was obtained from frequent (30 min interval) beam attenuation measurements made with a Sea Tech transmissometer in the main basin of Lake Erken, a moderately deep (mean depth 9 m, maximum depth 21 m) dimictic lake in central Sweden. Concentrations of SPM (g m−3) were not as strongly correlated to the beam attenuation coefficient (c, [m−1]), as were concentrations of the inorganic SPM fraction. Apparently, this was caused by large optically inactive organic particles which significantly affected the measurements of SPM, but had little effect on the attenuation of light.

When the water column was thermally stratified, SPM concentrations in the BBL showed a seasonal increase which was related to an increase in the thermocline depth. As the epilimnion deepened, there was also a marked increase in the occurrence of rapid and large changes in SPM concentration. After the loss of stratification, the amount of SPM and the temporal variability in its concentration was reduced. Since surface waves could not influence sediment resuspension at the depth of measurement, these data show the importance of internal waves in promoting sediment resuspension in areas of sediment accumulation. The relatively short period in each summer, when the thermocline reaches a sufficient depth to allow for resuspension over accumulation bottoms, can have important consequences for both the redistribution of lake sediments and the internal loading of phosphorus.

Key words

sediment resuspension lakes optical measurements transmissometer phosphorus 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald C. Pierson
    • 1
  • Gesa. A. Weyhenmeyer
    • 2
  1. 1.New York City Dept. Environmental ProtectionBen Nesin LaboratoryShokanUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Earth Science, Department of SedimentologyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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