Date of Award

8-12-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor

Nadine Kabengi, PhD

Second Advisor

Daniel Deocampo, PhD

Third Advisor

Matthew Waters, PhD

Abstract

This study focuses on Long Pond, a groundwater-fed sinkhole lake in Georgia, which does not exhibit any evidence of eutrophication drivers despite high concentrations of sedimentary phosphorus (P) (> 3000 mg/kg P) in the recent sediment record. Chemical analyses have shown a strong correlation (r2>0.99) between P and aluminum (Al) throughout the core, suggesting Al plays a significant role in sequestering most of the P, and limiting its availability to phytoplankton, thereby inhibiting eutrophication. The purpose of this study is to decipher P and Al physicochemical associations in the sediments. After the samples were fractionated into amorphous and non-amorphous phases, the correlation was maintained in both phases. Evidence suggests two modes of Al-P associations: a sorption and/or co-precipitation occurring mostly in the amorphous phase and a mode whereby Al and P are being inputted to the lake bound together.

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