Event Title

The Influence of Disturbance and Lake Bathymnetry on the Change of Utah Lake from Clear to Turbid State

Presenter Information

Anthony N. Macharia

Location

ECC 307/309

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/

Start Date

4-3-2012 2:50 PM

End Date

4-3-2012 3:10 PM

Description

Utah Lake has undergone unprecedented changes in water quality that is largely attributed to anthropogenic activities, severe drought (e.g., “the dust bowl” of 1930s), and the introduction of non-native fishes (especially benthivorous German carp). Given the projected shifts in moisture budgets from future climate change coupled with predicted population growth, the Utah Lake ecosystem will likely undergo significant hydrologic changes. This research is designed to compare hydrologic change in Utah Lake and the surrounding watershed during the pre- and post-settlement period (ca. 1880) by examining changes in nutrient budgets and vegetation cover, and identifying the principal drivers of disturbance in the Utah Lake ecosystem... We analyzed a 43 cm sediment core from the center of the lake for quantifying historical changes in water chemistry following European settlement in the catchment. Our results show that land cover changes and nutrient loadings contribute significantly to the shift in water quality from a clear water state to a turbid state. Sediment re-suspension from wind activity, non-native fish, agricultural activities and urban development provide several feedback mechanisms that maintain Utah Lake’s turbid state. This research uses several proxies found in sedimentary archives, including; pollen, algae, charcoal, and the natural abundance of 15N in the bulk organic matter of sediments (δ15NBOM). Comparisons of C/N ratios and δ13CBOM provide a base line of the pre-settlement-disturbance state in Utah Lake and provide a road map to achieving restoration targets.

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Apr 3rd, 2:50 PM Apr 3rd, 3:10 PM

The Influence of Disturbance and Lake Bathymnetry on the Change of Utah Lake from Clear to Turbid State

ECC 307/309

Utah Lake has undergone unprecedented changes in water quality that is largely attributed to anthropogenic activities, severe drought (e.g., “the dust bowl” of 1930s), and the introduction of non-native fishes (especially benthivorous German carp). Given the projected shifts in moisture budgets from future climate change coupled with predicted population growth, the Utah Lake ecosystem will likely undergo significant hydrologic changes. This research is designed to compare hydrologic change in Utah Lake and the surrounding watershed during the pre- and post-settlement period (ca. 1880) by examining changes in nutrient budgets and vegetation cover, and identifying the principal drivers of disturbance in the Utah Lake ecosystem... We analyzed a 43 cm sediment core from the center of the lake for quantifying historical changes in water chemistry following European settlement in the catchment. Our results show that land cover changes and nutrient loadings contribute significantly to the shift in water quality from a clear water state to a turbid state. Sediment re-suspension from wind activity, non-native fish, agricultural activities and urban development provide several feedback mechanisms that maintain Utah Lake’s turbid state. This research uses several proxies found in sedimentary archives, including; pollen, algae, charcoal, and the natural abundance of 15N in the bulk organic matter of sediments (δ15NBOM). Comparisons of C/N ratios and δ13CBOM provide a base line of the pre-settlement-disturbance state in Utah Lake and provide a road map to achieving restoration targets.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2012/AllAbstracts/41