Observations and implications of sediment-water interactions in the Niagara impoundment of southwest Virginia.
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A program of in situ and laboratory studies was conducted to elucidate the role of the deposited sediments of the Niagara Reservoir in affecting the quality of the flow of the Roanoke River above the headwaters of Smith Mountain Lake. Agronomic analysis techniques were adapted and applied to provide quantitative analysis capability for the sediments.
The surficial sediments were observed to constitute a considerable reservoir of nitrogen and phosphorus, which, during the anoxic bottom conditions occurring during the summer months, caused an enhancement of concentrations in the water column. Conversely, during the winter months, the surficial sediments acted as a phosphorus and nitrogen sink, removing both materials from the water column.
Laboratory batch and microcosm studies made it possible to quantify the release and removal of nitrogen and phosphorus under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, and to elucidate the factors upon which the exchanges depended.
- Doctoral Dissertations