Factors characterizing phosphate oxygen isotope ratios in river water: an inter-watershed comparison approach

Jun’ichiro Ide, Takuya Ishida, Abigail P. Cid-Andres, Ken’ichi Osaka, Tomoya Iwata, Takuya Hayashi, Masanori Akashi, Ichiro Tayasu, Adina Paytan, Noboru Okuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


We compared the oxygen isotope ratio of dissolved phosphate (δ18OPO4) in two rivers with different land-cover and geological features (Ado River and Yasu River) within Lake Biwa basin, central Japan, to explore what factor primarily characterizes the δ18OPO4. Mean values of δ18OPO4 in river water were 19.0 ± 2.4‰ (n = 7) in Ado River and 13.1 ± 2.3‰ (n = 15) in Yasu River, which were significantly different. Comparisons of δ18OPO4 between river water and potential sources of phosphate revealed that in the Ado River, the δ18OPO4 was similar to that in rocks from the accretionary complex and decreased with increasing sedimentary rock coverage. In the Yasu River, the δ18OPO4 was low in the upper forested areas, but increased with paddy field coverage. These results demonstrate that river δ18OPO4 strongly reflects inputs from geological substances, but is also impacted by land-use activities and varies with anthropogenic land coverage in the watershed. Thus, river δ18OPO4 relates to land or bedrock coverage differentially in each river. Regression analysis showed that residuals of the δ18OPO4 tended to converge to zero with increasing drainage area, suggesting that river δ18OPO4 more explicitly reflects land-cover and geological features on a larger watershed scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-377
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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