This study examines historical changes in sediment and nutrient accumulation rates in Bear Lake along the northeastern Utah/Idaho border, USA. Two sediment cores were dated by measuring excess 210Pb activities and applying the constant rate of supply (CRS) dating model. Historical rates of bulk sediment accumulation were calculated based on the ages within the sediment cores. Bulk sediment accumulation rates increased throughout the last 100 years. According to the CRS model, bulk sediment accumulation rates were <25mg cm-2 year-1 prior to 1935. Between 1935 and 1980, bulk sediment accumulation rates increased to approximately 40mg cm -2 year-1. This increase in sediment accumulation probably resulted from the re-connection of Bear River to Bear Lake. Bulk sediment accumulation rates accelerated again after 1980. Accumulation rates of total phosphorus (TP), total nitrogen (TN), total inorganic carbon (TIC), and total organic carbon (TOC) were calculated by multiplying bulk sediment accumulation rates times the concentrations of these nutrients in the sediment. Accumulation rates of TP, TN, TIC, and TOC increased as a consequence of increased bulk sediment accumulation rates after the re-connection of Bear River with Bear Lake.
Additional publication details
Recent increases in sediment and nutrient accumulation in Bear Lake, Utah/Idaho, USA