2004 Volume 20 Issue 1 Pages 159-164
Humic substances and other dissolved organic matter (DOM) in Lake Biwa and the surrounding rivers were investigated to elucidate their origins and behavior. An annual increase in chemical oxygen demand (COD) has been observed in the northern basin of Lake Biwa since 1985. The concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the northern and southern basins of Lake Biwa were 1.7 - 2.4 mgC/l and 1.9 - 2.6 mgC/l, respectively. The DOC concentrations tended to be high in summer and low in winter, and the seasonal changes in the concentrations of humic substances were small. The humic substances content of DOM was considered to be comparatively small because the ratio of the concentration of humic substances to DOC was in the range of 0.14 - 0.32. From the results of the fractionation of DOM in lake waters, it was estimated that hydrophobic acids, such as humic substances and hydrophilic acids, were about 25% and 45%, respectively. The main origin of hydrophobic acids in Lake Biwa may be humic substances from soils around the rivers that flow into Lake Biwa, while hydrophilic acids may be due to the inner production by phytoplankton. Therefore, the increase of COD in the northern basin of Lake Biwa may be attributed to the contributions of not only humic substances but also hydrophilic acids.