The interaction of two rivers flowing into Coeur d'Alene Lake (United States) was investigated with a field experiment and three-dimensional numerical simulations. The focus was on the influence of basin morphology, wind speed, and wind direction on the fate and transport of the inflowing water. Data from the field campaign showed that intrusions from the two rivers propagated into the lake at different depths, with the trace element polluted Coeur d'Alene River flowing into the lake above the trace element poor and nutrient rich St. Joe River inflow. The inflows initially intruded horizontally into the lake at their level of neutral buoyancy and later mixed vertically. Model results revealed that, as the intrusions entered the main lake basin, a forced horizontal mode-two basin-scale internal wave interacted with the intrusions to frequently siphon them into the lake proper and where rapid vertical mixing followed. The results serve to show how detailed transport and mixing patterns in a lake can have important consequences for the plankton ecology in the lake. ?? 2008 ASCE.