Distribution of mud phosphates in the Cochin backwater

Z.A. Ansari, M.D. Rajagopal

Abstract



Distribution of total phosphate, adsorbed phosphate and interstitial phosphate was studied for a period of one year in the Cochin Backwater. The concentration of total phosphate showed a wide variation from 258 to 1320 mu g/gm of mud. It was high during the monsoon and low in the pre- and post-monsoon periods. During the period when the phosphate was low the concentration of interstitial and adsorbed phosphate was high. The maximum value for the interstitial phosphate was 26.6 mu g/gm while for the adsorbed phosphate it was 41.5 mu g/gm. Adsorbed phosphate was generally higher than interstitial phosphate at all stations. Fine sediments of silt and clay showed a higher content of phosphate than the coarse sandy sediment. The total phosphate concentration revealed a decreasing trend from marine to estuarine zone. Seasonal trend in the ratio of adsorbed and interstitial phosphate seems to be related to the influence of land runoff and freshwater flow into the estuary

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