Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Calvin P. C. Poon


Narragansett Bay sediments were sampled in the vicinities of Whale Rock, Prudence Island, and Field's Point. The sediments were used in a microcosm study to determine the release and uptake of nutrients from the sediments to the water column above. The nutrient investigated is phosphorus.

It was found that sediments can act as a source or sink of phosphorus to the water column above and affect the productivity of these waters. The release or uptake of phosphorus is a function of complex biological, chemical and physical factors which have been enumerated and described as a function of an exponential rate expression.

Aerobic and anaerobic conditions are tested. It was found that when the concentration gradient of phosphorus with respect to water and sediments is in the direction of sediments to water, anaerobic conditions caused more release than aerobic. When the gradient is in the direction of water to sediments, aerobic conditions realized more uptake of phosphorus than anaerobic.



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