Organic matter mineralization in the pore water of a eutrophic lake (Aydat Lake, Puy de Dôme, France)

Gérard Sarazin*, Jean Fran cois Gaillard, Laurence Philippe, Christophe Rabouille

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The chemical composition of the pore water from the sediment of a eutrophic lake is dominated by high concentrations of total dissolved CO2 (up to 12 mM), reduced soluble iron (up to 2 mM) and dissolved silica (up to 1 mM). The pH lies within the range of 6.70 ± 0.02; this reflects that the pore water is efficiently buffered by the CO2 acid/base system. This composition is directly related to the main diagenetic reactions which drive the organic matter mineralization i.e. methanogenesis and ferric oxides reduction. Other geochemical processes are of minor importance. A stoichiometric model based on these main reactions allow us: (i) to define a general formula for the organic matter which is close to Redfield's one for the C:N ratio, while the C:P ratio is much higher owing to a probable adsorption of phosphorus onto reactive surfaces of the solid and due to heterotrophic bacterial uptake; (ii) to calculate a global first order kinetic constant which drives the organo-polymers breakdown. Due to the strong influence on the trophic status of the lake caused by an excess of phosphate, special attention is devoted to this species. We show that the sediment-water interface is a source of dissolved phosphate when the hypolimnion is anoxic between May and November. This contribution represents about 17% of the river input and should be taken into account in any attempt toward lake restoration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-118
Number of pages24
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1 1995


  • Diagenesis
  • eutrophic lakes
  • organic matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science


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