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Type: Journal article
Title: Extreme water level decline effects sediment distribution and composition in Lake Alexandrina, South Australia
Author: Skinner, D.
Oliver, R.
Aldridge, K.
Brookes, J.
Citation: Limnology, 2014; 15(2):117-126
Publisher: Springer Japan
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 1439-8621
Statement of
Dominic Skinner, Rod Oliver, Kane Aldridge, Justin Brookes
Abstract: Water level decline affects the biophysical environment of shallow lakes. Unprecedented drought in Australia’s Murray–Darling Basin resulted in extreme water level drawdown in the large, shallow Lake Alexandrina at the end of the River Murray. Surface sediment was collected from 22 sites in the lake before and after water levels declined to assess the integrated limnological changes over the period of drawdown. Results indicate an increase in the proportion of organic particles in profundal sediments, as well as an increase of fine particles (<19.9 μm) in peripheral sediments. These changes to sediment composition corresponded to higher concentrations of suspended particles at low water levels. Increased autochthony and a shift in primary production from macrophytes to phytoplankton in Lake Alexandrina support these findings. Inorganic carbon and other nutrients were lost from sandy sediments most likely through carbonate dissolution driven by a localized decrease in pore water pH from increased mineralisation of organic matter.
Keywords: Drought; shallow lakes; carbon; sediment redistribution; sediment resuspension
Rights: © The Japanese Society of Limnology 2014
DOI: 10.1007/s10201-013-0422-z
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