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Distribution of black carbon and its impact on Eutrophication in Lake Victoria
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change.
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Lake Victoria (LV), is the largest tropical fresh water lake. It is however facing a myriad of challenges like eutrophication, introducing species, mass extinction and climate change. Eutrophication has mostly been seen as a result of non-point pollution from upstream agricultural areas. However, studies have found that atmospheric deposition could perhaps be the greatest cause of nutrient loading in the lake. Our study looked at black carbon as one of the factors favoring eutrophication in LV. Black carbon is a product of incomplete combustion of biomass or fossil fuel. Biomass burning is prevalent in many areas of Africa and our results have shown a great spatial and temporal variability in its concentration in sediments. The sedimentation rates calculated after analyzing 210Pb activity were 0.87, 0.53 and 0.35 g cm-2 yr-1 while the average black carbon concentrations were 4.6, 2.1 and 6.9 mg g-1 for Siaya, Kisumu and Busia, respectively. These results provided valuable information when compared to past historical events in the Lake region especially eutrophication. The study also found that soot BC has been increasing in the past 100 years suggesting the input from fossil fuels. This study elucidates the complexity of drivers of eutrophication in Lake Victoria. Nitrogen and Phosphorous from the upstream agricultural sites has long been seen as the main cause of eutrophication. Through this study we find that soot deposition in the lake coincides with the period of increased primary productivity. The Total Organic Carbon and Total Nitrogen were also analyzed and have shown increased remarkable increase with time. All these geochemical variables are a testament to the increased role of human activities on the lake’s productivity. While other studies on soot in marine environments have associated bacterial growth to nutrients attached to soot black carbon. We correlate the concentration of soot in Lake Victoria basin to blooming of cyanobacteria.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 46 p.
Keyword [en]
Lake Victoria, Eutrophication, Biomass burning, Black Carbon
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-130696OAI: diva2:954113
Subject / course
Master´s in Science for Sustainable Development
Available from: 2016-09-19 Created: 2016-08-20 Last updated: 2016-09-19Bibliographically approved

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Tema Environmental Change
Environmental Sciences

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