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Biogeochemical evidences of human intervention in a shallow lake, Zeekoevlei, South Africa
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geology and Geochemistry.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis describes a multi-parameter biogeochemical investigation in a shallow hyper-eutrophic freshwater coastal lake, Zeekoevlei, in South Africa. The predominance of autochthonous algal-derived organic matter in lake sediments is indicated by low C/N, high H/C ratios and δ13Corganic values. Seepage from a nearby waste water treatment plant, rapid urbanization, raw sewage input and heavily fertilized farming in the catchments have caused enhanced productivity and is reflected by the changes in TOC concentrations, δ15N values, terrestrial to aquatic (n-alkane) ratio (TAR) and low carbon preference index (CPI) values. Eutrophic conditions were initiated in the lake with the start of recreational activities in early 1900s. Construction of dams and pondweed eradication in mid-1900s caused the transformation of the lake towards a hyper-eutrophic water body. Moreover, the aquatic macrophyte n-alkane proxy (Paq) values indicate the slow takeover by floating macrophytes after the eradication of submerged pondweeds in 1951. Low δ15N values and appearance of zeaxanthin indicate initiation of cyanobacterial bloom in the lake following pondweed eradication. Furthermore, the lake experienced intense cyanobacterial bloom after 1983 dredging. Although, cyanobacterial domination has decreased in recent years, hyper-eutrophic condition persists in the lake.

Chemical weathering process supplies major fraction of trace metals, whereas fertilizers, agricultural wastes, sewage effluents and road runoff constitute the anthropogenic fraction. Low industrialization in the catchments causes low metal pollution in waters. In addition, high pH and metal scavenging by planktons result low dissolved trace metal concentrations. Adsorption by CaCO3 and planktonic assimilation control trace metal and phosphorus (P) sedimentation. Lake sediments have low P retention capacity and P is released from surface sediments by wind-induced resuspension.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för geologi och geokemi , 2007. , 116 p.
Meddelanden från Stockholms universitets institution för geologi och geokemi, ISSN 1101-1599 ; 330
Keyword [en]
lake, primary productivity, biomarkers, stable isotopes, trace elements, phosphorus
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7195ISBN: 978-91-7155-531-IOAI: diva2:197826
Public defence
2007-12-05, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 A, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2007-11-14 Created: 2007-11-14Bibliographically approved

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