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Longshore water-current velocity and the potential for transport of contaminants—A pilot study in Lake Erie from Walnut Creek to Presque Isle State Park beaches, Erie, Pennsylvania, June and August 2015

Open-File Report 2016-1206

Prepared in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Sea Grant
By:
https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161206

Links

Abstract

Bacteria-driven restrictions and (or) advisories on swimming at beaches in Presque Isle State Park (PISP), Erie, Pennsylvania, can occur during the summer months. One of the suspected sources of bacteria is sediment. A terrestrial sediment source to the west of PISP is Walnut Creek, which discharges to Lake Erie about 8.5 kilometers southwest of PISP Beach 1. On June 24, June 25, August 18, and August 19, 2015, synoptic surveys were conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Sea Grant, in Lake Erie between Walnut Creek and PISP Beach 1 to characterize the water-current velocity and direction to determine whether sediment from Walnut Creek could be affecting the PISP beaches. Water-quality data (temperature, specific conductance, and turbidity) were collected in conjunction with the synoptic surveys in June. Water-quality data (Escherichia coli [E. coli] bacteria, temperature, and turbidity) were collected about a meter from the shore (nearshore) on June 24, August 19, and after a precipitation event on August 11, 2015. Additionally, suspended sediment was collected nearshore on June 24 and August 11, 2015. Samples collected near Walnut Creek during all three bacterial sampling events contained higher counts than other samples. Counts steadily decreased from west to east, then increased about 1–2 kilometers from PISP Beach 1; however, this study was not focused on examining other potential sources of bacteria.

The Velocity Mapping Toolbox (VMT) was used to process the water-current synoptic surveys, and the results were visualized within ArcMap. For the survey accomplished on June 24, 2015, potential paths a particle could take between Walnut Creek and PSIP Beach 1 if conditions remained steady over a number of hours were visualized. However, the water-current velocity and direction were variable from one day to the other, indicating this was likely an unrealistic assumption for the study area. This analysis was not accomplished for the other surveys due to unsteady lake conditions encountered on June 25 and August 18, and reduced quality of the survey on August 19.

Suggested Citation

Hittle, Elizabeth, 2017, Longshore water-current velocity and the potential for transport of contaminants—A pilot study in Lake Erie from Walnut Creek to Presque Isle State Park beaches, Erie, Pennsylvania, June and August 2015: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1206, 126 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161206.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract 
  • Introduction
  • Pilot Study Data Collection
  • Observations
  • Potential for Transport of Contaminants
  • Future Studies
  • Summary and Conclusions
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1. Velocity Mapping Toolbox Depictions of Transect Cross-Sections Showing Velocity Magnitude and Direction of Water Currents
  • Appendix 2. Regression Statistics for Figures 23–25 

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Longshore water-current velocity and the potential for transport of contaminants—A pilot study in Lake Erie from Walnut Creek to Presque Isle State Park beaches, Erie, Pennsylvania, June and August 2015
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2016-1206
DOI:
10.3133/ofr20161206
Year Published:
2017
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Pennsylvania Water Science Center
Description:
Report: x, 126 p.; Appendixes 2-1 - 2-3; Data Release
Country:
United States
State:
Pennsylvania
City:
Erie
Other Geospatial:
Lake Erie, Presque Isle State Park, Walnut Creek
Online Only (Y/N):
Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
Y