Using turbidity measurements to estimate total phosphorus and sediment flux in a Great Lakes coastal wetland

Wetlands
By: , and 

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Abstract

Coastal wetlands around the Laurentian Great Lakes in North America have the potential to intercept surface water coming off of the landscape and reduce the amount of nutrients and sediment entering the lakes. However, extensive coastal wetland areas have been isolated behind dikes and thus have limited interaction with nutrient-rich waters that contribute to harmful algal blooms and other water-quality issues. In this study, we developed a method to use high-frequency measurements of discharge and turbidity to estimate sediment and total phosphorus retention in a hydrologically reconnected coastal wetland. We found sediment and total phosphorus retention to be episodic and highly related to fluctuations in water level. Low water levels in Lake Erie in late 2012 resulted in low retention in the wetland, but sediment and total phosphorus retention increased as water levels rose in the first half of 2013. Overall, the reconnected wetland was a sink for both total phosphorus and suspended sediment and locally reduced phosphorus loading rates to Lake Erie. Additional wetland reconnection projects have the potential to further reduce phosphorus and sediment loading rates, which could improve local water quality and ecosystem health.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Using turbidity measurements to estimate total phosphorus and sediment flux in a Great Lakes coastal wetland
Series title Wetlands
DOI 10.1007/s13157-018-1044-3
Volume 5
Issue 38
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 7 p.
First page 1059
Last page 1065
Country United States
State Ohio
Other Geospatial Crane Creek