Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 441–450 | Cite as

Phosphorus sorption-desorption characteristics of ditch sediments from different land uses in a small headwater catchment in the central Sichuan Basin of China

  • Zhenhua Wang
  • Min He
  • Tao Wang
  • Bo ZhuEmail author


Investigation of phosphorus (P) sorption-desorption characteristics of drainage ditch sediments is important for better understanding on sediment P transport behaviors in ditches. Surface ditch sediment samples were collected from headwater subcatchment of forestland, sloping cropland, paddy field, and residential area in a representative catchment in the central Sichuan Basin. These sediment samples were used for determination of P sorption-desorption characteristics by a batch equilibrium technique. Results showed that the maximum P sorption capacities (Qm) in the sediments ranged from 159.7 to 263.7 mg/kg, while higher Qm were observed in the ditch sediments from the paddy fields. The Qm was significantly and positively correlated with oxalate-extractable Fe and Al oxides (r=0.97 and 0.98, p < 0.01), clay fraction (r = 0.78, p < 0.05) and organic matter (r = 0.95, p < 0.01). Sediment pH, clay and organic matter influenced the P sorption through amorphous Fe and Al oxides. CaCO3 content was negatively correlated with the Qm (r = −0.83, p < 0.05), implying that saturated CaCO3 (> 50 g/kg) would not increase P sorption capacity in the ditch sediments. The ditch sediments featured a linear desorption curve, suggesting that P release risk would be enhanced with the increase of the P adsorption. The P desorption rate was positively correlated with Olsen P (r = 0.94, p < 0.01), but negatively related to the fine particle-size fractions (r = −0.92, p < 0.01), the sum of the amorphous Fe and Al oxides (r = −0.67, p < 0.05) and the P sorption capacity (r = −0.59, p < 0.05). The ditch sediments from residential area had a higher P release risk than that from the other ditches of forestland, sloping cropland and paddy field. The P sorption index (PSI) derived from single-point measurement was significantly correlated with the P sorption capacity (r = 0.99, p < 0.01), and could be used for estimating Qm as 1.64 times PSI plus 24.0 (Qm = 1.64 PSI + 24.0) for similar sediments with highly calcareous soils and sediments. Ditch cleaning and sediment removal for the ditch in residential area were recommended in this area to reduce the P release risk.


Ditch sediment Phosphorus sorption-desorption Sediment properties Land use 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mountain Environment Evolvement and RegulationChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  2. 2.Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  3. 3.Department of Water Environment ResearchChangjiang River Scientific Research InstituteWuhanChina
  4. 4.Faculty of ForestrySichuan Agriculture UniversityYa’anChina

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