Insight into dissolved organic matter fractions in Lake Wivenhoe during and after a major flood Academic Article uri icon


  • Dissolved organic matter is an important component of biogeochemical processes in aquatic environments. Dissolved organic matter may consist of a myriad of different fractions and resultant processing pathways. In early January 2011, heavy rainfall occurred across South East Queensland, Australia causing significant catchment inflow into Lake Wivenhoe, which is the largest water supply reservoir for the city of Brisbane, Australia. The horizontal and vertical distributions of dissolved organic matter fractions in the lake during the flood period were investigated and then compared with stratified conditions with no catchment inflows. The results clearly demonstrate a large variation in dissolved organic matter fractions associated with inflow conditions compared with stratified conditions. During inflows, dissolved organic matter concentrations in the reservoir were fivefold lower than during stratified conditions. Within the dissolved organic matter fractions during inflow, the hydrophobic and humic acid fractions were almost half those recorded during the stratified period whilst low molecular weight neutrals were higher during the flood period compared to during the stratified period. Information on dissolved organic matter and the spatial and vertical variations in its constituents' concentrations across the lake can be very useful for catchment and lake management and for selecting appropriate water treatment processes.

publication date

  • 2016