SEDIMENT NUTRIENT DISTRIBUTION IN A BAR-BUILT ESTUARYK. Vareethiah
The distribution of plant nutrients in the sediments of Thengappattanam estuary (8' 12'-8" 21 'N; 77" 8'-77" I 5'E), south west coast of India, was observed on bimonthly basis for one year ( I 994). Four sites were chosen for the current study. Salinity in the surface water ranged from 0.2 to 7.0% and in the bottom water from 0.3 to 26.8%. Near-limnetic condition during the monsoon and strong salinity stratifications in premonsoon and postmonsoon seasons were characteristic. The estuarine sediment was predominantly clayey silt towards the head and sandy silt towards the mouth of the estuary. Total inorganic nitrogen in sediment fluctuated between undetectable level and 0.08 mg.g'. Total inorganic phosphorus varied from 0.14 to 0.3 mg.g-'. Sediment N :P varied from 0.084 to 10.3. Estuarine mixing and salinity distribution apparently had a decisive influence on the spatial and seasona: distribution of the nutrients and their ratios in the system.
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