Inland Waters, Vol 6, No 3 (2016)

Potential effects of sediment processes on water quality of an artificial reservoir in the Asian monsoon region

Kiyong Kim, Bomchul Kim, Klaus-Holger Knorr, Jaesung Eum, Youngsoon Choi, Sungmin Jung, Stefan Peiffer
Pages: 423-435


Sediment processes in lakes may affect water chemistry through the internal loading of phosphorus, ammonia, and sulfides released under anoxic conditions. Lake Soyang is a deep warm monomictic reservoir with a dendritic shape, located in the Asian summer monsoon region, South Korea. During summer, the lake is stratified and receives a large nutrient input via storm runoff, which forms a turbid intermediate layer with high concentrations of suspended particles. The lake water, the main inflowing stream (the Soyang River), bottom sediment, and porewater of the lake sediments were studied over a 2-year period (2012–2013). After intensive monsoon rain events, particulate organic carbon (POC), total phosphorus (TP), and turbidity were high in the inflowing water (C: 1.21 mg L−1 in June 2013) and in the metalimnion (2.8 mg L−1, 17.6 μg L−1, and 58.5 NTU, respectively in July 2013). Higher concentrations of iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) were also associated with the turbid intermediate layer (37 and 8 μg L−1, respectively, in July 2013). During the summer stratification period, oxygen started to deplete in the hypoliminion (down to 0.5 mg L−1 in September 2013), and sediment became anoxic, showing negative oxidation redox potential (ORP) in core samples. Diffusion of dissolved inorganic P and ammonia from sediment to the water column can be substantial, considering the concentration difference between the porewater and hypolimnetic water. Fe and Mn were abundant in the sediment porewater at the dam site, implying inorganic nutrients and minerals are well transported along the 60 km long lake axis by the density current of storm runoff. Sulfate and reduced sulfur were larger in the porewater of the top sediment than in the lower layer of the sediment core (below 10 cm). The results show that substantial amounts of inorganic nutrients and minerals are supplied to the lake by storm runoffs during monsoon and distributed through the lake by a density current, controlling the material cycle and flux at the sediment surface.