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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

Seasonal Phosphorus Cycling in Irondequoit Bay

In an effort to counter eutrophication, an oxygen supplementation project was implemented in Irondequoit Bay in 1993. In 2009, water quality was monitored within the depth profile of Irondequoit Bay between the months of April and November. Increasing phosphorus concentrations were observed ranging from 28.5 mg L-1 to 621.8 mg L-1 in the water column during summer stratification when the epilimnion becomes anoxic. As the season shifts to cooler conditions the Bay becomes mixed again, with higher dissolved oxygen levels, and lower phosphorus concentrations in the water column. Hence it is speculated that anoxic conditions promote the release of soluble reactive phosphorus from the sediments. Compared to historical data, prior to the oxygenation supplementation program, aqueous phosphorus concentrations were not as high during the period of summer stratification, suggesting that prevention of anoxic conditions in the epiliminion will limit the amount of phosphorus being released from the sediments.

Presenter: Mikki Smith (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Earth Science
Location: 106 Holmes
Time: 11:05 am (Session II)