National Research Program

Sedimentary Geochemical Processes Affecting the Exchange of Nutrients and transition Metals Between Sediment and Water in Riverine, Estuarine, and Lacustrine Environments

Benthic sediment exchange processes are potentially a very significant source/ sink of nutrients and metals within an aquatic system. Too often the quantitative effects of these processes are only estimated when considering biogeochemical cycling and ecological responses. Understanding geochemical processes that control nutrient and transition metal chemistry of natural waters is requisite for predicting the effects man-induced events will have upon natural geochemical cycles and for determining their utilization as a natural resource (e.g. estuarine waters as food resources). Objectives of this project are to (1) study the important geochemical processes affecting the nutrient and metal composition of and exchange between sediment and water in several different aquatic environments;(2) aid in developing useful methods for determining nutrient and metal fluxes between sediment and water; and (3) assess the influence man's activities exert on their natural geochemical cycles.


Long, G.R., Ayers, M.A., Callender, E., and Van Metre, P.C., 2003, Trends in chemical concentration in sediment cores from three lakes in New Jersey and one lake on Long Island, New York: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4727 (on-line report)

For information on current projects in the National Research Program, see Indexes to NRP projects and bibliographies

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