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Hydrology 2018, 5(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology5010008

Characterizing Total Phosphorus in Current and Geologic Utah Lake Sediments: Implications for Water Quality Management Issues

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA
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Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 19 January 2018
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Abstract

Utah Lake is highly eutrophic with large phosphorous inflows and a large internal phosphorous reservoir in the sediment. There are debates over whether this phosphorous is from geologic or more recent anthropologic sources. This study characterizes total phosphorous in geologic and current lake sediments to attempt to address that question. The average total phosphorous concentrations in the lake sediment were 666 ppm, with most samples in the 600 to 800 ppm range with a few larger values. Concentrations in historic geologic sediments were not statistically different from lake sediments. A spatial analysis showed that phosphorous distributions appeared continuous from the lake to the shore and that high and low values could be attributed to areas of seeps and springs (low) or feed lots and waste water discharge (high). These results indicate that geologic sediments without anthropogenic impacts are not statistically different than current lake sediments. The high values indicate that internal natural phosphorous loadings could be significant and the impaired state may be relatively insensitive to external anthropogenic loadings. If this is the case, then mitigation efforts to address anthropogenic sources may have minimal impacts. This case study presents an impaired water body where non-anthropogenic nutrient sources are significant and shows that reservoir management decisions should consider these non-anthropogenic phosphorous sources relative to anthropogenic sources. This study can serve as a template for evaluating the importance of geologic phosphorous sources for management decisions. View Full-Text
Keywords: reservoir management; sediment phosphorous; non-anthropogenic phosphorous; sediment-water interaction reservoir management; sediment phosphorous; non-anthropogenic phosphorous; sediment-water interaction
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Abu-Hmeidan, H.Y.; Williams, G.P.; Miller, A.W. Characterizing Total Phosphorus in Current and Geologic Utah Lake Sediments: Implications for Water Quality Management Issues. Hydrology 2018, 5, 8.

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