Effects of tidal flat reclamation on sediment quality and hypoxia in Isahaya Bay

Yoshikuni Hodoki, Tetsuo Murakami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


1. Ariake Bay, which is located in western Japan, has a large tidal range (> 6 m) and a vast tidal flat (200 km2). In the early 1990s, the government-managed Isahaya Reclamation Project began in the western part of Ariake Bay. A 16-km2 area of tidal flat in the inner part of Isahaya Bay was destroyed through reclamation and separated from the sea by a dyke, which created land and a freshwater reservoir. 2. Since the initiation of the project, fishery yields around Isahaya Bay have dramatically decreased. The objective of this study was to clarify the relationship between the work associated with the Isahaya Reclamation Project and the recent environmental deterioration in Ariake Bay, with references to present sediment thickness and organic matter content, and hypoxic water distributions in Isahaya Bay. 3. The organic matter load from the reservoir has increased since the initiation of the reclamation project and has been associated with a thick layer of fine sediment at the bottom of Isahaya Bay. The thickness of fine sediment and the total organic carbon content were higher in Isahaya Bay than in the freshwater reservoir. 4. Based on measurements in August 2001, hypoxic water spread widely in and around Isahaya Bay; the lowest dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration (0.53 mg L-1) was observed just outside the dyke. An analysis based on a two-layered box model using data obtained in August 2001 showed that the DO consumption rate in the bottom layer was high (0.61 mg O2 L -1 day-1), and that 22-41% of the total organic carbon load needed to induce the hypoxic water was derived from the reclamation area. 5. Our findings strongly suggest that enclosed seas may suffer from eutrophic and hypoxic conditions because of their low seawater-exchange rate. A comprehensive conservation programme and environmental assessment including physical and material transport processes in the system is needed to manage the environment of the enclosed sea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-567
Number of pages13
JournalAquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Sept 1


  • Ariake Bay
  • Enclosed coastal sea
  • Eutrophication
  • Organic matter load
  • Oxygen consumption rate
  • Reclamation work
  • Sediment deterioration
  • Water hypoxia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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