, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 87–109 | Cite as

Speciation of riverine particulate phosphorus during rain events

  • Nic Pacini
  • René Gächter


Suspended sediments collected during rain events were analysed to assess the maximum potential bioavailability of particulate phosphorus (PP). Physical (separation by particle size) and chemical (sequential extraction) fractionation techniques were applied. Time differentiated sampling during rain events revealed that changes in the concentrations of soluble and particle bound phosphorus, and in the proportion of different PP phases, are due to the changing contribution of various sources of runoff and to flow related variations in particle size. Size fractionation and the extraction of PP phases, can help to distinguish resuspended sediments from sediments coming directly from outside the channel. In light of a former study, investigating PP sedimentation and transformations within the sediments of Lake Sempach, our results lead to the conclusion that, at least 25% (particulate inorganic and reductive soluble P) and at most 70% of the allochthonous PP supply transported during a single rain event, may become bioavailable after early diagenesis in the lake sediments. The uncertainty is due to the unknown time span necessary for the diagenesis, at the lake sediment surface, of particulate organic phosphorus of allochthonous origin.

Key words

sequential phosphorus extraction suspended sediment size fractions storm runoff 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nic Pacini
    • 1
  • René Gächter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiogeochemistrySwiss Federal Institute for Science and Technology(EAWAG)KastanienbaumSwitzerland

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