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Aquatic Geochemistry

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 33–55 | Cite as

Biogeochemistry of Major Redox Elements and Mercury in a Tropical Reservoir Lake (Petit Saut, French Guiana)

  • T. Peretyazhko
  • P. Van Cappellen
  • C. Meile
  • M. Coquery
  • M. Musso
  • P. Regnier
  • L. CharletEmail author
Article

Abstract

The hydroelectric reservoir of Petit Saut, French Guiana, was created in 1994–1995 by flooding 350 km2 of tropical forest. When sampled in 1999, the lake exhibited a permanent stratification separating the 3–5 m thick, oxygenated epilimnion from the anoxic hypolimnion. The rate of anaerobic organic carbon mineralization below the oxycline was on the order of 1 μmol C m−2 s−1 and did not show a pronounced difference between wet and dry seasons. Methanogenesis accounted for 76–83% of anaerobic carbon mineralization, with lesser contributions of sulfate reduction and dissimilatory iron reduction. Upward mixing of reduced inorganic solutes explained 90% of the water column O 2 demand during the dry season, while most O 2 consumption during the wet season was coupled to aerobic respiration of organic matter synthesized in the surface waters. Inorganic mercury species represented 10–40% of total dissolved mercury in the epilimnion, but were of relatively minor importance (≤10%) in the anoxic portion of the water column. Net production of soluble organic mercury compounds in the flooded soils and anoxic water column did not vary significantly between wet and dry seasons. Methylmercury accounted for about 15% of total dissolved mercury below the oxycline. Its estimated net production rate, 0.04 mg m−2 yr−1, is of the same order of magnitude as values reported for contaminated lakes and flooded terrestrial ecosystems.

Keywords

biogeochemistry hydroelectric reservoir mercury Petit Saut redox stratification 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Peretyazhko
    • 1
    • 4
  • P. Van Cappellen
    • 2
  • C. Meile
    • 2
    • 5
  • M. Coquery
    • 3
    • 6
  • M. Musso
    • 1
  • P. Regnier
    • 2
  • L. Charlet
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Environmental Geochemistry Group, Earth and Planetary Science Observatory (OSUGLGIT)University of Grenoble-IGrenoble Cedex 9France
  2. 2.Department of Earth Sciences - GeochemistryUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.International Atomic Energy AgencyMarine Environmental Laboratory (IAEA-MEL)Monaco
  4. 4.Ecosystem Science DivisionUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  5. 5.Department of Marine SciencesUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  6. 6.Water Quality and Pollution Protection UnitCEMAGREFLyon Cedex 9France

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