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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2016, Article ID 6874234, 9 pages
Research Article

Sedimentary Organic Matter and Phosphate along the Kapuas River (West Kalimantan, Indonesia)

1Department of Marine Sciences, Ocean College, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
2Department of Oceanography, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
3Soil Science Department, Universitas Tanjungpura, Pontianak, Indonesia
4Department of Marine Science, Republic of China Naval Academy, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
5Department of Atmospheric Sciences and Graduate Institute of Atmospheric Physics, National Central University, Chungli, Taiwan
6Department of Marine Environment Engineering, College of Ocean Engineering, National Kaohsiung Marine University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Received 29 June 2016; Accepted 4 September 2016

Academic Editor: Stanislav Frančišković-Bilinski

Copyright © 2016 Pei Sun Loh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study assessed the sedimentary organic matter (OM) and phosphate along the world’s longest river on an island: the Kapuas River in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. The surface sediment was tested using the loss-on-ignition experiment to determine the % labile OM, % refractory OM, and % total OM and the Rp values (the ratio of refractory to total OM). The C/N ratios and the inorganic phosphate (IP), organic phosphate (OP), and total phosphate (TP) levels were also determined. The combination of high Rp values and low C/N ratios along the upper river indicated the possible presence of relatively degraded material; the low Rp values and high C/N ratios downstream were indicative of a fresher terrestrial signal. Sedimentary P levels were the highest along the densely populated areas downstream from the Kapuas River; the second highest along the midstream river, which is surrounded by oil palm plantations; and the lowest along the upper river, which is surrounded by forest. Higher levels of OM, IP, OP, and TP downstream along the Kapuas River indicated the presence of anthropogenic sources of OM and P.