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Distinguishing natural from anthropogenic sources of phosphorus in the Upper Avon: Primary versus secondary apatite

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Original languageEnglish
DatePublished - Jul 2016
Event1st WIRC Water Science and Engineering Conference - Bath, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Jul 201614 Jul 2016


Conference1st WIRC Water Science and Engineering Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom


Surface waters in the Hampshire Avon catchment contain high concentrations of phosphorus (P), which is an important pollutant contributing to adverse ecological impacts in its streams and rivers. The majority of riverine waters in the Upper Avon are drained from the Upper Greensand (UGS) aquifer in Pewsey Vale and from the surrounding Lower Chalk aquifer. The UGS is a formation composed of sandstone with small amounts of glauconite. Natural sources of P in surface waters derive from the weathering of primary apatite hosted in the UGS. Anthropogenic sources include weathering of secondary apatite precipitated in the UGS from P applied to the land surface and migrated down into the UGS, together with fresh sources of P applied to the land surface in the form of fertilisers and animal wastes, as well as leakage plumes from septic tanks, and direct discharges from sewage treatment works. A proportion of the precipitating P is discharged directly into the aquifer instead of forming secondary apatites. This proportion is mixed with P coming from the dissolution of primary and secondary apatites of the UGS. This study uses representative drilled core and water samples to investigate the sources and distribution of P in the Upper Avon.

    Research areas

  • Phosphorus


1st WIRC Water Science and Engineering Conference

Duration13 Jul 201614 Jul 2016
CountryUnited Kingdom
Degree of recognitionLocal event

Event: Conference


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