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Wayne A. Wurtsbaugh and David Epstein


Utah State University

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Farmington Bay in the Great Salt Lake is hypereutrophic because of extreme nitrogen and phosphorus loading, largely from greater metropolitan Salt Lake City sewage effluents. Although this causes detrimental impacts within the bay, the influence of the outflow of its algal- and nutrient-rich waters into Gilbert Bay is largely unknown. To address this issue, students in the 2010 Aquatic Ecology Practicum course from Utah State University did a 13-km long transect analysis of trophic parameters from the causeway bridge separating the two bays, out into the pelagic zone of Gilbert Bay (Figure 1; Appendix A). On the September 30th date of the transect, flows out of Farmington Bay were low and consequently the plume did not extend far into the lake and we could not detect a plume using MODIS satellite imagery. Nevertheless, the students were able to measure a distinct gradient in a variety of parameters and used water from Gilbert and Farmington Bay in an experiment to assess how Farmington Bay water influences brine shrimp growth. Conductivity profiles indicated that the less dense Farmington Bay water formed an overflow plume that was only 0.2-0.4 m thick.


Aquatic Ecology Practicum (WATS 4510) Class Report