Distribution of phosphorus and organic carbon in the nearshore sediments of Goa
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Samples collected from sediment water interface from the inner shelf region of Goa coast are examined for their phosphorus and organic carbon, which indicate the geochemical environment under which the present day deposits are laid down. As the colour, texture and lithology of the sediment varies considerably from north to south, so also the degree of concentration of organic carbon and phosphorus varies suggesting that they are in direct relationship with each other. Organic carbon is low (0.85%) at 5-10 m depth, but it is over 5% at 10-20 m depth with a few patchy areas of high and low values beyond and up to 50 m depth. Similarly, phosphorus is low (0-0.1%) at 0-10 m depth, but it is high (0.4-0.98%) at the mouths of the rivers. Both organic carbon and phosphorus are delineated into 2 zones (of high and low concentrations) along Marmugao Head (up to Tiracol river transect). Though organic carbon and phosphorus are related with each other, their variability fluctuates in terms of pre and postmonsoon periods in the region. The organic carbon has a proportional relationship with the clay fraction of the sediment. Higher concentration of phosphorus noticed in postmonsoon periods is considered to be due to a large supply of the terrigenous apatite brought in by the rivers; this is, in addition to contributing factors like organic productivity, upwelling and pollutants in the region. Since the sediment in the region falls within the zone of 0.5-5.0% P@d2@@O@d5@@, it can be considered to be 'phosphate bearing'
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