Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering

Degree Level



Biological and Agricultural Engineering


Haggard, Brian E


Phosphorus loads to water bodies consist of external flux from the watershed and internal flux from the bottom sediments. In this study, the specific objectives were to measure the internal phosphorus flux from bottom sediments under aerobic and anaerobic conditions and determine the effectiveness of various rates of alum treatment on sediment phosphorus release. Eight intact sediment cores from New Spiro Lake were incubated under aerobic and anaerobic conditions for 41 days at room temperature. The cores were treated in the middle of incubation with alum (aluminum sulfate) and sodium aluminate at a ratio of 2:1, ranging from 0.05 to 0.40 mL of liquid alum. SRP concentrations of overlying water in all cores ranged from 0.51 to 0.076 mg L-1 initially and increased to concentrations ranging from 0.122 to 0.161 mg L-1 in cores under anaerobic conditions and from 0.088 to 0.110 mg L-1 under aerobic conditions during the first 19 days of incubation. Average phosphorus flux was 2.56 mg m-2 d-1 into the water column under anaerobic conditions and 0.61 mg m-2 d-1 under aerobic conditions. After chemical treatment the SRP concentrations in the overlying water of the cores decreased to < 0.01 mg L-1 in both anaerobic and aerobic cores, but subsequently increased to concentrations similar to that before treatment. The alum treatment was not successful at mitigating sediment phosphorus flux in this experiment, but this experiment should be repeated again.


phosphorus, Oklahoma, watershed, New Spiro Lake