Scientific article

Dissolved silica budget in the North basin of Lake Lugano

Published inChemical geology, vol. 182, no. 1, p. 35-55
Publication date2002

We studied the dissolved silica cycle in the water column of the North basin of Lake Lugano, Switzerland/Italy. Lake Lugano is a meromictic, eutrophic lake, permanently stratified below 100-m depth. A one-box model was used to calculate a silica mass-balance over 1993, based on various lake measurements, such as sediment traps, sediment cores, water analysis and biota countings. We found that the North basin of Lake Lugano is at steady state as far as dissolved silica is concerned. The primary source of dissolved silica in the lake is river input (about 80%), with diffusion from bottom sediments and groundwater input also playing a role. Atmospheric input is negligible. The main export of dissolved silica occurs via biogenic uptake by diatoms and final burial of their frustules in the bottom sediment. Loss of dissolved silica through the lake outflow only represents 15% of the total output. Of the total amount of Si exported to the lake bottom through diatom sinking, less than 20% is re-supplied to the surface water by diffusion. Thus, the lake acts as an important permanent sink for silica. The long residence time of dissolved silica in the lake (7 years) is related to the strong physical stratification of the lake. Only about 10% of the standing stock are available to phytoplankton uptake.

  • Lake Lugano
  • Dissolved silica
  • Diatom
  • Silica budget
Citation (ISO format)
HOFMANN, Annette, ROUSSY, Didier, FILELLA, Montserrat. Dissolved silica budget in the North basin of Lake Lugano. In: Chemical geology, 2002, vol. 182, n° 1, p. 35–55.
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
  • PID : unige:83140
ISSN of the journal0009-2541

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