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Title: Environmental effects of dredging on sediment nutrients, carbon and granulometry in a tropical estuary
Authors: Nayar, S.
Miller, D.J.
Hunt, A.
Goh, B.P.L.
Chou, L.M. 
Keywords: Dredging
Inorganic carbon
Organic carbon
Ponggol estuary
Sediment grain size
Sediment surface area
Issue Date: Apr-2007
Citation: Nayar, S., Miller, D.J., Hunt, A., Goh, B.P.L., Chou, L.M. (2007-04). Environmental effects of dredging on sediment nutrients, carbon and granulometry in a tropical estuary. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 127 (1-3) : 1-13. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This monitoring study encompassed a period prior to dredging, during dredging and post dredging between July 1999 to June 2000 in Ponggol estuary located along the northeastern coast of Singapore. Mean concentrations of sediment nutrients in mġKg-1 (± standard error of means) prior to dredging, during dredging and post dredging were 9.75 ± 4.24, 8.18 ± 4.29 and 11.46 ± 4.74 for ammonium, 0.08 ± 0.05, 0.06 ± 0.02 and 0.09 ± 0.01 for nitrite, 0.04 ± 0.04, 0.11 ± 0.17 and 0.25 ± 0.30 for nitrate, 4.83 ± 3.48, 0.77 ± 0.48 and 8.33 ± 9.73 for phosphate respectively. Pre dredge, dredge and post dredge levels of0 total carbon (TC) were 18.5 ± 3.7, 20.2 ± 3.5 and 34.6 ± 12.0, of total organic carbon (TOC) were 10.5 ± 2.9, 19.5 ± 3.6 and 34.6 ± 12.0 and of total inorganic carbon (TIC) were 7.9 ± 1.0, 0.7 ± 0.4 and non detectable in the sediments, respectively. Both, sediment nutrients and carbon registered lower concentrations with onset of dredging, with the exception of nitrate and TOC. A shift in sedimentary carbon from inorganic carbon to organic carbon was also observed with the onset of the dredging activities when the organically enriched historically contaminated layer was exposed. Sediment granulometry showed that the sediments in the estuary were predominantly silt and clay prior to dredging, which changed to sand with onset of dredging. Silt load in the sediments was highest post-dredge. Sediment nutrients and sediment organic carbon were observed to associate with the finer fractions (silt and clay) of sediments. Finer fractions of sediments get resuspended during a dredging event and are dispersed spatially as the result of tides and water movements. Prior to this study, the potential for nutrient release and sediment granulometry due to dredging have been suggested, but there have been few studies of it, especially in the tropics. The baseline information gathered from this study could be used to work out effective management strategies to protect similar tropical ecosystems elsewhere, should there be no other alternative to dredging. © Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2006.
Source Title: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
ISSN: 01676369
DOI: 10.1007/s10661-006-9253-2
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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