A combination of bathymetric surveying and bottom-sediment coring was used to investigate sediment deposition and the occurrence of selected nutrients (total ammonia plus organic nitrogen and total phosphorus), 44 metals and trace elements, 15 organochlorine compounds, and 1 radionuclide in bottom sediment of Tuttle Creek Lake, northeast Kansas. The total estimated volume and mass of bottom sediment deposited from 1962 through 1999 in the original conservation-pool area of the lake was 6,170 million cubic feet (142,000 acre-feet) and 292,400 million pounds (133,000 million kilograms), respectively. The volume of sediment occupies about 33 percent of the original conservation-pool, water-storage capacity of the lake. Mean annual net sediment deposition since 1962 was estimated to be 7,900 million pounds (3,600 million kilograms). Mean annual net sediment yield from the Tuttle Creek Lake Basin was estimated to be 821,000 pounds per square mile (1,440 kilograms per hectare). The estimated mean annual net loads of total ammonia plus organic nitrogen and total phosphorus deposited in the bottom sediment of Tuttle Creek Lake were 6,350,000 pounds per year (2,880,000 kilograms per year) and 3,330,000 pounds per year (1,510,000 kilograms per year), respectively. The estimated mean annual net yields of total ammonia plus organic nitrogen and total phosphorus from the Tuttle Creek Lake Basin were 657 pounds per square mile per year (1.15 kilograms per hectare per year) and 348 pounds per square mile per year (0.61 kilograms per hectare per year), respectively. No statistically significant trend for total phosphorus deposition in the bottom sediment of Tuttle Creek Lake was indicated (trend analysis for total ammonia plus organic nitrogen was not performed). On the basis of available sediment-quality guidelines, the concentrations of arsenic, chromium, copper, nickel, silver, and zinc in the bottom sediment of Tuttle Creek Lake frequently or typically exceeded the threshold-effects levels established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Sediment concentrations of metals and trace elements were relatively uniform over time. Organochlorine compounds either were not detected or were detected at concentrations generally less than the threshold-effects levels. Following an initial positive trend, a statistically significant negative depositional trend was indicated for DDE (degradation product of DDT), which was consistent with the history of DDT use. Other organochlorine compounds detected included aldrin, DDD, and dieldrin. Notable changes in human activity within the basin included a substantial increase in the production of grain corn and soybeans from the 1960s to the 1990s. This increase in production was accompanied by a pronounced increase in the number of irrigated acres. Also, during the same time period, there was an overall increase in hog production. These changes in human activity have not had a discernible effect on the deposition of chemical constituents in the bottom sediment of Tuttle Creek Lake.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Sediment deposition and occurrence of selected nutrients and other chemical constituents in bottom sediment, Tuttle Creek Lake, Northeast Kansas, 1962-99