A demonstration Project: Measurement of Sediment Oxygen Demand and Nutrient Fluxes in on Eckie's Pond, MS

Author(s): Laurens, L.; Ortega, S.; Martin, J.; Ramirez-Avila, J.; Martin, J.

One of the processes long known to impact the water quality of surface waters is the oxygen demand by, and nutrient release from, sediments. Sediment oxygen demand (SOD) and nutrient releases, due to the mineralization (diagenesis) of organic materials in bottom sediments, can contribute to eutrophication, harmful algal oxygen blooms and hypoxia. SOD and nutrient releases are commonly measured using one of two alternative techniques: by in- situ deployment of chambers on the bottom of the water body; or, by the collection of sediment core samples which are transported to the laboratory where SOD and nutrient fluxes are measured under controlled conditions. The main objective of this study was to develop the capability of using the core method, based on methodologies developed by the Horn Point Laboratory at University of Maryland and extensively used in Chesapeake Bay, and to compare results to chamber measurements at a selected site on campus at Mississippi State University, Eckie’s pond. Other goals included the development of standard operating procedures (SOP’s) for all the processes and the completion of a laboratory setup. The developed methodology could then be applied to other selected Mississippi water bodies to provide flux measurements in support of related oxygen and nutrient management studies. Overall research goal considers long term measurements of sediment fluxes, sediment diagenesis, and water column concentrations in order to evaluate factors influencing sediment diagenesis, to support evaluation and development of diagenesis models such as that included in the USEPA Water Analysis Simulation Program.

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