Suspended sediments in river ecosystems: Photochemical sources of dissolved organic carbon, dissolved organic nitrogen, and adsorptive removal of dissolved iron


Journal Article

We generated suspended sédiment solutions using river sediments and river water at concentrations similar to those observed during 1.5 year floods (Q1.5) and a dam removal (∼325 mg L-1) on the Deep River, North Carolina. Suspended sediment solutions were exposed to simulated solar radiation, equivalent to one clear, summer day at the study site (35°N). Concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), total dissolved nitrogen (TDN), dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) and total dissolved iron (Fed) were measured before and after exposure. Total dissolved carbon (TDC) budgets for each experiment were produced using DOC and DIC data. Sediment suspensions in the presence of simulated solar radiation were significant sources of dissolved C (119 ± 11 μmol C L-1 d-1; ± values indicate 1 standard error) and DON (1.7 ± 0.5 μmol N L-1 d-1) but not DIN or SRP. Extrapolations through the Deep River water column suggest that suspended sediments in the presence of light represent dissolved organic matter fluxes of 3.92 mmol C m-2 d-1 and 40 μmol N m-2 d -1. Additionally, sediment suspensions lowered river water Fe d concentrations immediately (∼24%) and progressively (∼40-90%) in both light and dark treatments. Our research suggests suspended sediments in river ecosystems are potential sources of dissolved organic C and dissolved organic N while effectively removing Fed from the water column. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Riggsbee, JA; Orr, CH; Leech, DM; Doyle, MW; Wetzel, RG

Published Date

  • September 28, 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 113 / 3

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0148-0227

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1029/2007JG000654

Citation Source

  • Scopus