Great Lakes Seminar Series – February 21, 2013


Please join us for the next CILER-GLERL Great Lakes seminar!

Speaker: Dr. Clare Robinson (University of Western Ontario)

Title: The influence of groundwater-lake interactions on nearshore water quality in the Great Lakes

Time/Date: 12:00 – 1:00 pm on Thursday, 21-February 2013

Location: NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab, Lake Superior Hall, 4840 South State Road, Ann Arbor MI 48108

Abstract: Pollution of the near-shore waters of the Great Lakes is an increasingly serious problem due to rapid urbanization, the intensification of agriculture and industry and increasing pollutant toxicity. While the contribution of surface water inputs to nearshore water pollution is generally well characterized, the groundwater pathway is often poorly understood. Predicting groundwater-derived pollutant loading rates is complex as loading is controlled not only by the specific pollutant sources, groundwater flow paths but also by biogeochemical processes occurring near the groundwater-lake interface. Lake hydraulics (seasonal lake-level variations, waves, seiches) cause dynamic water exchange across the groundwater-lake interface and this leads to the creation of important biogeochemical zonations (pH and redox) that strongly control the fate of discharging pollutants. Field data is presented from a sandy beach on Lake Erie that examines the effect of waves on the transport and accumulation of heavy metals in beach groundwater and subsequent heavy metal discharge to nearshore waters. The implications of dynamic groundwater-lake interactions on nutrient and bacteria transport from groundwater to near-shore waters will also be discussed.