Phosphorus sorption characteristics of sediment in the Simiyu and Kagera River basins: implications for phosphorus loading into Lake Victoria

  • R A Tamatamah University of Dar es Salaam, Department of Fisheries Science and Aquaculture, PO Box 35064, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Keywords: Langmuir equation, phosphorus loading, phosphorus transport model, river sediment, SRP, water quality


As part of a larger study to assess the influence of land use on riverine and atmospheric phosphorus (P) loading to Lake Victoria, P sorption characteristics of eight composite bottom sediment samples from the Simiyu and Kagera rivers were determined using the Langmuir equation. The samples had low to medium Langmuir adsorption maxima (Γm), ranging from 107 to 201µg g–1. Langmuir binding energy co-efficient (K) ranged from 60 to 181µg l–1 and the equilibrium P concentration at zero sorption (EPC0) from 0.1 to 2.75µg g–1. By using Langmuir co-efficients derived from P sorption experiments and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) concentrations measured in rivers as well as the in-shore waters of Lake Victoria, it was possible to determine the potential release of SRP into the lake by sediment from the two catchments. For the 2000 water-year, it was estimated that about 28.65 ² 0.89 (mean ² SD) and 66 ² 6.76 tons of SRP were released into Lake Victoria by sediment deposited by the Simiyu and Kagera rivers, respectively. The implications of these results to future management of cultural eutrophication in Lake Victoria are also discussed.

African Journal of Aquatic Science 2004, 29(2): 243–248

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eISSN: 1727-9364
print ISSN: 1608-5914