Spatial and temporal variations in aluminum chemistry of a dilute, acidic lake

Gary C. Schafran, Charles T. Driscoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Elevated concentrations of Al have been observed in acidic surface waters. An assessment of the chemistry of aqueous Al is of interest because of its role as a toxicant to aquatic organisms, a pH buffer, and an adsorbent of orthophosphate and organic carbon. In this investigation we evaluated the spatial and temporal fluctuations of Al forms in an acidic drainage lake. High concentrations of NO3- (51.0 ± 11 μmol l-1), H+ (14.9 ± 3.5 μmol l-1), and Al (19.6 ± 3.5 μmol l-1) were introduced to Dart's Lake through drainage water during the snowmelt period. During low flow periods microbially mediated depletions of nitrate served to neutralize H+ and aluminum base neutralizing capacity. Thus in Dart's Lake, NO3- transformations were extremely important in regulating short-term changes in pH and subsequent changes in the inorganic forms of Al. During stratification periods Al appeared to be non-conservative within the lake system. Although we know very little about the character and transformations of alumino-organic solutes, these substances were correlated with dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations. Alumino-organic substances appear to be introduced to the lake from both drainage water and sediments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-119
Number of pages15
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Feb 1987


  • acidic deposition
  • aluminum
  • dissolved organic carbon
  • fluoride
  • lake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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