Role of groundwater-borne geogenic phosphorus for the internal P release in shallow lakes

Catharina S. Nisbeth, Søren Jessen, Ole Bennike, Jacob Kidmose, Kasper Reitzel

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review

9 Citationer (Scopus)


This study explores the under-investigated issue of groundwater-borne geogenic phosphorus (P) as the potential driving factor behind accumulation of P in lake sediment. The annual internally released P load from the sediment of the shallow, hypereutrophic and groundwater-fed lake, Nørresø, Denmark, was quantified based on total P (TP) depth profiles. By comparing this load with previously determined external P loadings entering the lake throughout the year 2016-2017, it was evident that internal P release was the immediate controller of the trophic state of the lake. Nevertheless, by extrapolating back through the Holocene, assuming a groundwater P load corresponding to the one found at present time, the total groundwater P input to the lake was found to be in the same order of magnitude as the total deposit P in the lake sediment. This suggests that groundwater-transported P was the original source of the now internally cycled P. For many lakes, internal P cycling is the immediate controller of their trophic state. Yet, this does not take away the importance of the external and possibly geogenic origin of the P accumulating in lake sediments, and subsequently being released to the water column.

Antal sider16
TidsskriftWater (Switzerland)
Udgave nummer9
StatusUdgivet - 2019


  • Programområde 5: Natur og klima


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