Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Hydrologie

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 101–126 | Cite as

Sedimentation in Lake Biel, an eutrophic, hard-water lake in northwestern Switzerland

  • Richard F. Wright
  • Albert Matter
  • Marc Schweingruber
  • Ulrich Siegenthaler


A 2-year study of sedimentation in Lake Biel reveals that three major factors can account for the spatial and temporal patterns of tripton sedimentation. Allochthonous inputs of particulate matter mostly derived from the Aare river during spring snowmelt and other high-water periods, provide about 50% of the carbonate and 50% of the siliceous matter collected in sediment traps. Phytoplankton activity in this eutrophic, hard-water lake accounts for the rest of the carbonate and siliceous matter, the latter being mostly diatom frustules. Sedimentation rates are thus highest during periods of maximum river flooding, maximum phytoplankton activity and following the breakdown of the thermocline, at which time trapped particles settle out. Resuspension of sediment is important in at least one basin. Resolution of carbonate appears to be minor.


Sedimentation Suspended Matter Sediment Trap Phytoplankton Productivity Diatom Frustule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Brunskill, G.J.: Fayetteville Green Lake, New York. II. Precipitation and sedimentation of calcite in a meromictic lake with laminated sediments, Limnol. Oceanogr.14, 830–847 (1969).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Craig, H.: The measurement of oxygen isotope paleotemperatures. In: Tongiorgi, E. (ed.): Stable Isotopes in Oceanographic Studies and Paleotemperatures, p. 3–24. Proc. Spoleto Conf., Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (1965).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dean, W. E.: Determination of carbonate and organic matter in calcareous sediments and sedimentary rocks by loss on ignition: comparison with other methods. J. sedim. Petrol.,44, 242–248 (1974).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Eidg. Amt für Wasserwirtschaft: Hydrographisches Jahrbuch der Schweiz 1976. Bern 1977.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Eidg. Amt für Wasserwirtschaft: Hydrographisches Jahrbuch der Schweiz 1977. Bern 1978.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Friedli, P.: Limnologische Untersuchungen am Bielersee, 217 p. Thesis, University of Bern (1973).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Friedli, P.: Die Tages- und Jahresprimärproduktion des Bielersees unter Berücksichtigung der Extrapolation von Kurzzeitmessungen der Biomasse, des Chlorophylls und der Einstrahlung. Thesis, University of Bern (1978).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kelts, K., and Hsü, K. J.: Freshwater carbonate sedimentation In: Lerman, A. (ed.): Lakes Chemistry Geology Physics, Springer-Verlag, New York 1978.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lampert, W.: Climatic conditions and planktonic interactions as factors controlling the regular succession of spring algal bloom and extremely clear water in Lake Constance. Verh. int. Verein. Limnol.20, 969–974 (1978).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Nydegger, P.: Strömungen in Seen. Untersuchungen in situ und an nachgebildeten Modellseen. Beitr. Geol. Schweiz, kl. Mitt.66, 142–177 (1976).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mc Crea, J.M.: On the isotopic chemistry of carbonates and a paleotemperature scale. J. chem. Phys.18, 849–857 (1950).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Nyffeler, U.: Kurzzeitdatierung der Bielerseesedimente anhand von Pb-210 und Cs-137, 77 p. Thesis, University of Bern (1975).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    von Orelli, J.: Limnologische Untersuchungen am Bielersee: Fortsetzung. 194 p. Thesis, University of Bern (1976).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Otsuki, A., and Wetzel, R. G.: Calcium and total alkalinity budgets and carbonate precipitation of a small hard-water lake. Arch. Hydrobiol.73, 14–30 (1974).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Roether, W.: Water-CO2 exchange set-up for the routine 18-oxygen assay of natural waters. Int. J. appl. Radiat. Isotopes21, 379–387 (1970).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Rossknecht, H.: Zur autochthonen Calzitfällung im Bodensee-Obersee. Arch. Hydrobiol.81, 35–64 (1977).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Roth, H., and Geiger, W.: Brienzersee, Thunersee and Bielersee: Effects of exploitation and eutrophication on the salmonid communities. J. Fish. Res. Bd Canada29, 755–764 (1972).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Santschi, P.: Chemische Prozesse im Bielersee, 307 p. Thesis, University of Bern (1975).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Santschi, P. W., and Schindler, P. W.: Chemical and geochemical studies of Lake Biel I. A. mass balance for Lake Biel and its implications for the rates of erosion of the drainage area. Schweiz. Z. Hydrol.39, 182–200 (1978).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Serruya, C.: Rates of sedimentation and resuspension in Lake Kinneret. In: Golterman, H.L. (ed.): Interactions between Sediments and Freshwater. PUDOC, Wageningen 1976.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Siegenthaler, U., and Schotterer, U.: Hydrologische Anwendungen von Isotopenmessungen in der Schweiz. Gas Wass. Abwass.57, 501–506 (1977).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Stiller, M.: Origin of sedimentation components in Lake Kinneret traced by their composition. In: Golterman, H. L. (ed.): Interactions between Sediments and Fresh Water. PUDOC, Wageningen 1976.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Stumm, W., and Morgan, J. J.: Aquatic Chemistry, 583p. Wiley-Interscience, New York 1970.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Tschumi, P.: Eutrophierung, Primärproduktion und Sauerstoffverhältnisse im Bielersee. Gas Wass. Abwass.57, 245–252 (1977).Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Weiss, H.-P.: Sedimentologische und isotopengeochemische Untersuchung der Lockersedimente im Bielersee, 106p. Thesis, University of Bern (1977).Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Wetzel, R. G.: Limnology, 743 p. Saunders, Philadelphia 1975.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Wright, R.F., and Nydegger, P.: Sedimentation of detrital particulate matter in lakes: influence of currents produced by inflowing rivers. Water Resources Research16, 597–601 (1980).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard F. Wright
    • 1
  • Albert Matter
    • 1
  • Marc Schweingruber
    • 2
  • Ulrich Siegenthaler
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GoelogyUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Inorganic ChemistryUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations