Modeling of phosphorus dynamics in aquatic sediments: I - Model development

Hong Wang, Adhityan Appan, John S. Gulliver

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81 Scopus citations


A model is developed to study the phosphorus dynamics in aquatic sediments and to conduct dynamic predictions of phosphorus release across a sediment-water interface. The model focuses on the sediment active layer below the sediment-water interface and is based on primary mechanisms regulating phosphorus behavior in sediments, including effective diffusion, bioturbation mixing and burial processes (transport), organic decomposition, sorption kinetic processes and non-linear partitioning (mobilization). The effects of environmental factors such as dissolved oxygen and temperature are taken into account. The model is solved by numerical integration. The primary difference from models in the literature is that the model directly describes the dynamic behavior of dissolved, particulate exchangeable ortho-phosphorus and organic phosphorus in sediments, and incorporates dynamic sorption and non-linear partitioning processes. These improve model mechanisms and allow regulation of phosphorus flux through the sediment reservoir that acts as both a source and sink of phosphorus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3928-3938
Number of pages11
JournalWater Research
Issue number16
StatePublished - Sep 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Singapore government and Nanyang Technological University in terms of financial aid and facilities. Special thanks due to Professor Tay JH from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, for his invaluable comments to improve the model mechanisms in terms of bioturbation and other processes.


  • Dynamic model
  • Numerical computation
  • Phosphorus
  • Release flux
  • Sediments


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