The University of Maine Maine In-situ Sound & Color Lab
School of Marine Sciences
Quantifying DOC Flux From Sediments Into a Drinking Water Reservoir Using Optical Profiling

Sediments in drinking water reservoirs may release dissolved organic carbon (DOC) into the overlying water that interferes with water treatment and contributes to disinfection byproduct (DBP) precursor formation. Here we estimate the flux of DOC from the bottom sediments of a drinking water reservoir using a novel optical profiling system comprising instrumentation designed to measure the in situ distribution of optical properties such as absorption and fluorescence. The optical profiles were coupled with high-precision, high-resolution physical measurements of the water-column stability (pressure, temperature, and conductivity). Using the physical and chemical gradients we calculated bulk DOC fluxes at different locations in the reservoir. Further, we distinguished DOC flux from the sediments from other sources of DOC using a principle component analysis and applied those properties to generate vertical source-specific profiles of DOC, which permitted us to calculate the gross flux from the sediments. We observed a positive flux of DOC from the sediments into Sweetwater Reservoir ranging from 8.0 x 10-3 gC m-2day-1 to 3. 0 x 10-2 gC m-2day-1 for bulk DOC, but up to 5 times that for the sediment-specific flux. These results suggest that the sedimentary source of DOC to the reservoir is significant, but also that DOC is labile in the reservoir.

Downing, B.D., B.A. Bergamaschi, E. Boss, 2006. Quantifying DOC Flux From Sediments Into a Drinking Water Reservoir Using Optical Profiling. 2006 Fall Ocean Sciences Meeting.

  The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
(207) 581-­1110
Website last updated: 18-Mar-14