Ammonium adsorption by tidal flat surface sediments from the Yangtze Estuary
Ammonium adsorption by sediments plays an important role in the cycle of nitrogen in the estuarine tidal flat ecosystem. Ammonium adsorption on tidal flat sediments from the Yangtze estuary was studied using the simulation experiment. The findings indicated that there was linear adsorption by the tidal flat sediments for the lower ammonium concentration (<10 mM) in the overlying waters. The adsorption coefficient of ammonium in the study area ranged from 3.81 to 9.00, and had a significant positive correlation with total organic carbon (r = 0.779, = 0.02284 , n=8), reflecting that organic matter might be one of the main factors controlling the behavior of ammonium adsorption. It also showed that salinity had a pronounced effect on ammonium adsorption, and that salinity affected the distribution of ammonium between the sediments and waters. The amount of ammonium adsorption on sediments gradually decreased with the increasing salinity. Especially within the range of lower salinity, just a little change of salinity had a dramatic influence on ammonium adsorption by sediments.