Environmental Management

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 348–359 | Cite as

Importance of Sediment–Water Interactions in Coeur d’Alene Lake, Idaho, USA: Management Implications

  • James S. Kuwabara
  • Paul F. Woods
  • William M. Berelson
  • Laurie S. Balistrieri
  • James L. Carter
  • Brent R. Topping
  • Steven V. Fend


A field study at Coeur d’Alene Lake, Idaho, USA, was conducted between October 1998 and August 2001 to examine the potential importance of sediment–water interactions on contaminant transport and to provide the first direct measurements of the benthic flux of dissolved solutes of environmental concern in this lake. Because of potential ecological effects, dissolved zinc and orthophosphate were the solutes of primary interest. Results from deployments of an in situ flux chamber indicated that benthic fluxes of dissolved Zn and orthophosphate were comparable in magnitude to riverine inputs. Tracer analyses and benthic-community metrics provided evidence that solute benthic flux were diffusion-controlled at the flux-chamber deployment sites. That is, effects of biomixing (or bioturbation) and ground-water interactions did not strongly influence benthic flux. Remediation efforts in the river might not produce desired water-quality effects in the lake because imposed shifts in concentration gradients near the sediment–water interface would generate a benthic feedback response. Therefore, development of water-quality models to justify remediation strategies requires consideration of contaminant flux between the water column and underlying sediment in basins that have been affected by long-term (decadal) anthropogenic activities.


Water-quality management Benthic flux Sediment–water interactions Nonpoint sources Contaminant transport Phosphate limitation 



Authors are grateful to A. Arnesberg, R. Avanzino, and S. Hager for benthic chlorophyll and dissolved-nutrient analyses and to F. Murphy for instrument fabrication. Logistical, facilities, and technical support by C. Azevedo, R. Backsen, P. Cummings, S. Nicholls, D. Steding, and especially R. Black, D. Marcy and the staff of North Idaho College were critical. Discussions with R. Rosenzweig on the benthic bacterial results are much appreciated, as are manuscript reviews by D. Cain, A. Horowitz, K. Kirk, C. Mebane, L. Miller, L. Schemel and an unidentified journal reviewer. We thank J. Goulet, R. Pedersen, C. Schulze, and B. Woods for support with flux-chamber deployments. Funding for this work was provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10 (Interagency Agreement DW14957278-01-1) and the US Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program.

Product names are provided for identification purposes only and do not constitute endorsement by the US Geological Survey.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • James S. Kuwabara
    • 1
  • Paul F. Woods
    • 2
  • William M. Berelson
    • 3
  • Laurie S. Balistrieri
    • 4
  • James L. Carter
    • 1
  • Brent R. Topping
    • 1
  • Steven V. Fend
    • 1
  1. 1.US. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road Menlo Park, California 94025USA
  2. 2.US Geological Survey, 230 Collins Road Boise, ID 83702USA
  3. 3.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of Southern California, 3651 Trousdale Parkway Los Angeles, CA 90089USA
  4. 4.US Geological Survey University of Washington, P.O. Box 355351 Seattle, WA 98195USA

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