Successful control of internal phosphorus loading after sediment dredging for 6 years: A field assessment using high-resolution sampling techniques

Musong Chen, Jingzhen Cui, Juan Lin, Shiming Ding, Mengdan Gong, Mingyi Ren, Daniel C.W. Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


The effectiveness of sediment dredging for the control of internal phosphorus (P) loading, was investigated seasonally in the eutrophic Lake Taihu. The high-resolution dialysis (HR-Peeper) and diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) techniques were used to measure the concentrations of soluble Fe(II) and soluble reactive P (SRP) as well as DGT-labile Fe/P in the non-dredging and post-dredging sediments. The P resupply kinetics from sediment solids were interpreted using DGT Induced Fluxes in Sediments (DIFS) modeling. The results showed no obvious improvement in water and sediment quality after dredging for 6 years, due to their geographical proximity (a line distance of approximately 9 km). However, dredging significantly decreased the concentrations of soluble Fe(II)/SRP and DGT-labile Fe/P in sediments, with effects varying at different depths below the sediment-water interface; More pronounced effects appeared in January and April. The diffusive flux of pore water SRP from sediments decreased from 0.746, 4.08 and 0.353 mg/m2/d to 0.174, 1.58 and 0.048 mg/m2/d in April, July and January, respectively. DIFS modeling indicated that the P retention capability of sediment solids was improved in April in post-dredging site. Positive correlations between pore water soluble Fe(II) and SRP as well as between DGT-labile Fe and P, reflect the key role of Fe redox cycling in regulating dredging effectiveness. This effect is especially important in winter and spring, while in summer and autumn, the decomposition of algae promoted the release of P from sediments and suppressed dredging effectiveness. Overall, the high-resolution HR-Peeper and DGT measurements indicated a successful control of internal P loading by dredging, and the post-dredging effectiveness was suppressed by algal bloom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-936
Number of pages10
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Algal bloom
  • Diffusive gradients in thin films
  • Iron redox
  • Phosphorus
  • Sediment dredging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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