Event Title

A Preliminary Investigation of “Lake Stench” in the Great Salt Lake, Utah

Presenter Information

Kris Bell

Location

ECC 216

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/

Start Date

4-5-2007 5:35 PM

End Date

4-5-2007 5:40 PM

Description

Residents of Salt Lake valley speak often of the familiar “lake stench” from the Great Salt Lake and various publications have described the lake as a dead, stinking cesspool. However, the source(s) of this odor are not known. In sulfate-rich waters like the Great Salt Lake, oxygen depletion in sediments or stagnant deep waters allows abundant sulfates to be reduced to hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which carries a pungent “rotten-egg smell”. In order to begin assessing the sources of odor that impact the Salt Lake valley residents, we conducted a survey of H2S in sediments collected from a uniform depth of 3 ft in Gilbert, Farmington and Bear River Bays in September 2006. Hydrogen sulfide is simple to quantify, and this gas can be used as an indicator of odiferous compounds produced in the lake. H2S concentrations in the pore water of the top 2-cm of sediments were low in Gilbert Bay (mean 1.23 mg/L), extremely high in Bear River Bay (mean 266 mg/L) and high in Farmington Bay (mean 121 mg/L). The results suggest that the eutrophic conditions in Farmington Bay and Bear River Bay produce anoxic, reducing conditions, generating high concentrations of odor-causing H2S. We hypothesize that H2S and other odor-causing gases are released from the sediments of the bays during wind events that disturb the shallow sediments. Additional research is needed on odorcausing compounds at different depths in the lake and in different seasons.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 5th, 5:35 PM Apr 5th, 5:40 PM

A Preliminary Investigation of “Lake Stench” in the Great Salt Lake, Utah

ECC 216

Residents of Salt Lake valley speak often of the familiar “lake stench” from the Great Salt Lake and various publications have described the lake as a dead, stinking cesspool. However, the source(s) of this odor are not known. In sulfate-rich waters like the Great Salt Lake, oxygen depletion in sediments or stagnant deep waters allows abundant sulfates to be reduced to hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which carries a pungent “rotten-egg smell”. In order to begin assessing the sources of odor that impact the Salt Lake valley residents, we conducted a survey of H2S in sediments collected from a uniform depth of 3 ft in Gilbert, Farmington and Bear River Bays in September 2006. Hydrogen sulfide is simple to quantify, and this gas can be used as an indicator of odiferous compounds produced in the lake. H2S concentrations in the pore water of the top 2-cm of sediments were low in Gilbert Bay (mean 1.23 mg/L), extremely high in Bear River Bay (mean 266 mg/L) and high in Farmington Bay (mean 121 mg/L). The results suggest that the eutrophic conditions in Farmington Bay and Bear River Bay produce anoxic, reducing conditions, generating high concentrations of odor-causing H2S. We hypothesize that H2S and other odor-causing gases are released from the sediments of the bays during wind events that disturb the shallow sediments. Additional research is needed on odorcausing compounds at different depths in the lake and in different seasons.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2007/AllPosters/18