Open-File Report 2011–1168
This study of phosphorus (P) cycling in eutrophic Upper Klamath Lake (UKL), Oregon, was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Lakebed sediments from the upper 30 centimeters (cm) of cores collected from 26 sites were characterized. Cores were sampled at 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 cm. Prior to freezing, water content and sediment pH were determined. After being freeze-dried, all samples were separated into greater than 63-micron (μm) particle-size (coarse) and less than 63-μm particle-size (fine) fractions. In the surface samples (0.5 to 4.5 cm below the sediment water interface), approximately three-fourths of the particles were larger than 63-μm. The ratios of the coarse particle-size fraction (>63 μm) and the fine particle-size fraction (<63 μm) were approximately equal in samples at depths greater than 10 cm below the sediment water interface.
Chemical analyses included both size fractions of freeze-dried samples. Chemical analyses included determination of total concentrations of aluminum (Al), calcium (Ca), carbon (C), iron (Fe), poorly crystalline Fe, nitrogen (N), P, and titanium (Ti). Total Fe concentrations were the largest in sediment from the northern portion of UKL, Howard Bay, and the southern portion of the lake. Concentrations of total Al, Ca, and Ti were largest in sediment from the northern, central, and southernmost portions of the lake and in sediment from Howard Bay. Concentrations of total C and N were largest in sediment from the embayments and in sediment from the northern arm and southern portion of the lake in the general region of Buck Island. Concentrations of total C were larger in the greater than 63-μm particle-size fraction than in the less than 63-μm particle-size fraction.
Sediments were sequentially extracted to determine concentrations of inorganic forms of P, including loosely sorbed P, P associated with poorly crystalline Fe oxides, and P associated with mineral phases. The difference between the concentration of total P and sum of the concentrations of inorganic forms of P is referred to as residual P. Residual P was the largest fraction of P in all of the sediment samples. In UKL, the correlation between concentrations of total P and total Fe in sediment is poor (R2<0.1). The correlation between the concentrations of total P and P associated with poorly crystalline Fe oxides is good (R2=0.43) in surface sediment (0.5–4.5 cm below the sediment water interface) but poor (R2<0.1) in sediments at depths between 10 cm and 30 cm. Phosphorus associated with poorly crystalline Fe oxides is considered bioavailable because it is released when sediment conditions change from oxidizing to reducing, which causes dissolution of Fe oxides.
First posted March 8, 2012
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Simon, N.S., and Ingle, S.N., 2011, Physical and chemical characteristics including total and geochemical forms of phosphorus in sediment from the top 30 centimeters of cores collected in October 2006 at 26 sites in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011–1168, 49 p., available only at https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2011/1168/.
Study Design and Methods
Physical and Chemical Characteristics of Lakebed Sediment