Impoundments Increase Potential for Phosphorus Retention and Remobilization in an Urban Stream

Vo, Nguyen Xuan Que;Doan, Tuan Van;Kang, Hojeong

  • Received : 2014.04.01
  • Accepted : 2014.06.19
  • Published : 2014.06.30


Weirs are conventional structures that control water level and velocity in streams to facilitate water resource management. Despite many weirs built in streams, there is little information how weirs change hydrology regime and how that translates to sediment and phosphorus (P) responses. This study evaluated the influence of weirs on P retention and mobilization in an urban tributary of the Han River in Korea. Total P concentrations in sediments upstream of weirs were higher than the downstream site, mainly due to the increase of potentially available fractions (labile P and aluminum- and iron-bound P) (p < 0.05). Equilibrium phosphorus concentrations ($EPC_o$) were lower than soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) concentrations of stream waters, but there was an increasing trend of sediment $EPC_o$ upstream of weirs compared to the downstream site (p < 0.001) indicating a greater potential for P release upstream of weirs. Sediment core incubation showed that SRP release rates upstream of weirs were higher than the downstream site under anoxic conditions of the water column (p < 0.01), but not under oxic conditions. SRP release rates under anoxic conditions were greater than that measured under oxic conditions. Un-neutral pH and increased temperature could also enhance SRP release rates upstream of weirs. We conclude that weirs can increase P retention within stream sediments and potentially promote significant P releases into waters, which in turn cause eutrophication.


Eutrophication;Phosphorus release;Urban stream;Weir


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Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea