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Open AccessArticle

Phosphorous Supply to a Eutrophic Artificial Lake: Sedimentary versus Groundwater Sources

Institute of Geosciences, University Kiel, Otto-Hahn-Platz 1, 24118 Kiel, Germany
UFZ—Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
Behörde für Umwelt, Klima, Energie und Agrarwirtschaft, Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg, Neuenfelder Str. 19, 21109 Hamburg, Germany
Institut für Hygiene und Umwelt, Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg, Marckmannstr. 129A, 20539 Hamburg, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sotiris Orfanidis
Water 2021, 13(4), 563;
Received: 17 December 2020 / Revised: 11 February 2021 / Accepted: 18 February 2021 / Published: 23 February 2021
The eutrophic Lake Eichbaumsee, a ~1 km long and 280 m wide (maximum water depth 16 m) dredging lake southeast of Hamburg (Germany), has been treated for water quality improvements using various techniques (i.e., aeration plants, removal of dissolved phosphorous by aluminum phosphorous precipitation, and by Bentophos® (Phoslock Environmental Technologies, Sydney, Australia), adsorption) during the past ~15 years. Despite these treatments, no long-term improvement of the water quality has been observed and the lake water phosphorous content has continued to increase by e.g., ~670 kg phosphorous between autumn 2014 and autumn 2019. As no creeks or rivers drain into the lake and hydrological groundwater models do not suggest any major groundwater discharge into the lake, sources of phosphorous (and other nutrients) are unknown. We investigated the phosphorous fluxes from sediment pore water and from groundwater in the water body of the lake. Sediment pore water was extracted from sediment cores recovered by divers in August 2018 and February 2019. Diffusive phosphorous fluxes from pore water were calculated based on phosphorus gradients. Stable water isotopes (δ2H, δ18O) were measured in the lake water, in interstitial waters in the banks surrounding the lake, in the Elbe River, and in three groundwater wells close to the lake. Stable isotope (δ2H, δ18O) water mass balance models were used to compute water inflow/outflow to/from the lake. Our results revealed pore-water borne phosphorous fluxes between 0.2 mg/m2/d and 1.9 mg/m2/d. Assuming that the measured phosphorous fluxes are temporarily and spatially representative for the whole lake, about 11 kg/a to 110 kg/a of phosphorous is released from sediments. This amount is lower than the observed lake water phosphorous increase of ~344 kg between April 2018 and November 2018. Water stable isotope (δ2H, δ18O) compositions indicate a water exchange between an aquifer and the lake water. Based on stable isotope mass balances we estimated an inflow of phosphorous from the aquifer to the lake of between ~150 kg/a and ~390 kg/a. This result suggests that groundwater-borne phosphorous is a significant phosphorous source for the Eichbaumsee and highlights the importance of groundwater for lake water phosphorous balances. View Full-Text
Keywords: lake water/groundwater interaction; stable isotopes; phosphorous; eutrophication lake water/groundwater interaction; stable isotopes; phosphorous; eutrophication
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MDPI and ACS Style

Förster, W.; Scholten, J.C.; Schubert, M.; Knoeller, K.; Classen, N.; Lechelt, M.; Richard, J.-H.; Rohweder, U.; Zunker, I.; Wanner, S.C. Phosphorous Supply to a Eutrophic Artificial Lake: Sedimentary versus Groundwater Sources. Water 2021, 13, 563.

AMA Style

Förster W, Scholten JC, Schubert M, Knoeller K, Classen N, Lechelt M, Richard J-H, Rohweder U, Zunker I, Wanner SC. Phosphorous Supply to a Eutrophic Artificial Lake: Sedimentary versus Groundwater Sources. Water. 2021; 13(4):563.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Förster, Wiebe; Scholten, Jan C.; Schubert, Michael; Knoeller, Kay; Classen, Nikolaus; Lechelt, Michael; Richard, Jan-Helge; Rohweder, Udo; Zunker, Isabell; Wanner, Susanne C. 2021. "Phosphorous Supply to a Eutrophic Artificial Lake: Sedimentary versus Groundwater Sources" Water 13, no. 4: 563.

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