Lake St. Clair is a 430 square mile lake between the state of Michigan and the province of Ontario, which forms part of the international boundary between the United States and Canada in the Great Lakes Basin. Lake St. Clair receives most of its inflow from Lake Huron through St. Clair River, which has an average flow of 182,000 cubic feet per second. The lake discharges to Detroit River, where it flows 32 miles to Lake Erie. Twelve drifting buoys were deployed on Lake St. Clair for 74 hours between August 12-15, 2002 to help investigate flow circulation patterns as part of a source water assessment study of the susceptibility of public water intakes. The buoys contained global positioning system (GPS) receivers to track their movements. Buoys were released in a transect between tethered buoys marking an 800-foot wide navigational channel in the north-central part of the lake just downstream of St. Clair River, and about 15.5 miles northeast of Detroit River. In addition, an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) was used to measure velocity profiles in a grid of 41 points that spanned the area through which the buoys drifted. Computer animations, which can be viewed through the Internet, were developed to help visualize the results of the buoy deployments and ADCP measurements.
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USGS Numbered Series
Visualization of a drifting buoy deployment on Lake St. Clair within the Great Lakes Waterway from August 12-15, 2002