Lake responses following lanthanum-modified bentonite clay (Phoslock®) application: an analysis of water column lanthanum data from 16 case study lakes

Spears, Bryan M. ORCID:; Lurling, Miquel; Yasseri, Said; Castro-Castellon, Ana T.; Gibbs, Max; Meis, Sebastian; McDonald, Claire; McIntosh, John; Sleep, Darren ORCID:; Van Oosterhout, Frank. 2013 Lake responses following lanthanum-modified bentonite clay (Phoslock®) application: an analysis of water column lanthanum data from 16 case study lakes. Water Research, 47 (15). 5930-5942.

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Phoslock® is a lanthanum (La) modified bentonite clay that is being increasingly used as a geo-engineering tool for the control of legacy phosphorus (P) release from lake bed sediments to overlying waters. This study investigates the potential for negative ecological impacts from elevated La concentrations associated with the use of Phoslock® across 16 case study lakes. Impact-recovery trajectories associated with total lanthanum (TLa) and filterable La (FLa) concentrations in surface and bottom waters were quantified over a period of up to 60 months following Phoslock® application. Both surface and bottom water TLa and FLa concentrations were <0.001 mg L−1 in all lakes prior to the application of Phoslock®. The effects of Phoslock® application were evident in the post-application maximum TLa and FLa concentrations reported for surface waters between 0.026 mg L−1–2.30 mg L−1 and 0.002 mg L−1 to 0.14 mg L−1, respectively. Results of generalised additive modelling indicated that recovery trajectories for TLa and FLa in surface and bottom waters in lakes were represented by 2nd order decay relationships, with time, and that recovery reached an end-point between 3 and 12 months post-application. Recovery in bottom water was slower (11–12 months) than surface waters (3–8 months), most probably as a result of variation in physicochemical conditions of the receiving waters and associated effects on product settling rates and processes relating to the disturbance of bed sediments. CHEAQS PRO modelling was also undertaken on 11 of the treated lakes in order to predict concentrations of La3+ ions and the potential for negative ecological impacts. This modelling indicated that the concentrations of La3+ ions will be very low (<0.0004 mg L−1) in lakes of moderately low to high alkalinity (>0.8 mEq L−1), but higher (up to 0.12 mg L−1) in lakes characterised by very low alkalinity. The effects of elevated La3+ concentrations following Phoslock® applications in lakes of very low alkalinity requires further evaluation. The implications for the use of Phoslock® in eutrophication management are discussed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Shore
ISSN: 0043-1354
Additional Keywords: geo-engineering, recovery, ecology, water, lake, management, remediation, lake restoration, eutrophication control
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 21 Jan 2014 12:38 +0 (UTC)

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