Supply of phosphorus to the water column of a productive hardwater lake: controlling mechanisms and management considerations

Charles T Driscoll, Steven W. Effler, Martin T. Auer, Susan M. Doerr, Michael R. Penn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


Onondaga Lake is a hypereutrophic, industrially polluted lake located in Syracuse, NY. High hypolimnetic concentrations of H2S that develop after anoxia restrict the accumulation of total Fe2+ due to the formation of FeS, and may limit Fe-PO4 interactions. High water column concentrations of Ca2+ and high rates of CaCO3 deposition occur due to inputs of Ca2+ from an adjacent soda ash manufacturing facility. Patterns of P concentration and other water chemistry parameters in the lower waters, and results from chemical equilibrium calculations, suggest that Ca-PO4 minerals may regulate the supply of P from sediments to the water column in Onondaga Lake. These findings have important management implications for Onondaga Lake. First, declines in water column Ca2+ concentrations due to reductions in industrial CaCl2 input may result in conditions of undersaturation with respect to Ca-PO4 mineral solubility and increases in the release of P from sediments to the water column. Second, introduction of O2 from hypolimnetic oxygenation, as a lake remediation initiative, may enhance P supply from sediments, because of increased solubility of Ca-PO4 minerals at lower pH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-72
Number of pages12
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Mar 1993



  • calcium
  • lake management
  • phosphorus
  • sediments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science

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