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Comparison of iron fractions on the regulated and restored parts of the Rudnia River (NE Poland)

Abstract

Hydrochemical investigations focusing on different iron fractions were conducted in 2007 from January to December on two parts (regulated and restored) of the small lowland Rudnia River in north-eastern Poland. Concentrations of the total iron (TFe) in the water of the Rudnia River ranged from 582 μg dm-3 up to 3646 μg dm-3, and their elevated values are clearly the result of their complex binding with organic matter originating from the peat-mineral catchment of the river. Regardless of the season, in the upper part of the river (regulated channel) higher concentrations of all iron fractions than in the restored river section were observed. All tests on iron fractions showed a clear seasonal variability on both river channel parts. Higher TFe concentrations were typical for the regulated part of the river in autumn or winter, and lower in spring for the restored river channel section. For the whole of the investigated period and regardless of the season, particulate iron fraction (PFe) represented a higher proportion of TFe in the regulated channel than in the restored one. PFe constituted up to 60% TFe, on average, while the other two fractions about 20% of TFe each. However, dissolved reactive iron fraction (DRFe) made up a larger percentage of TFe than organic soluble fraction (DOFe) of iron within the year. The maximum percentage of DOFe fraction outside the growing season was caused by iron release from organic complexes and elevated concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) derived from wetlands.

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