Water-quality and bottom-material characteristics of Cross Lake, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, 1997-99

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2003-4135



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Cross Lake is a shallow, monomictic lake that was formed in 1926 by the impoundment of Cross Bayou. The lake is the primary drinking-water supply for the City of Shreveport, Louisiana. In recent years, the lakeshore has become increasinginly urbanized. In addition, the land use of the watershed contributing runoff to Cross Lake has changed. Changes in land use and urbanization could affect the water chemistry and biology of the Lake. Water-quality data were collected at 10 sites on Cross Lake from February 1997 to February 1999. Water-column and bottom-material samples were collected. The water-column samples were collected at least four times per year. These samples included physical and chemical-related properties such as water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and specific conductance; selected major inorganic ions; nutrients; minor elements; organic chemical constituents; and bacteria. Suspended-sediment samples were collected seven times during the sampling period. The bottom-material samples, which were collected once during the sampling period, were analyzed for selected minor elements and inorganic carbon. Aside from the nutrient-enriched condition of Cross Lake, the overall water-quality of Cross Lake is good. No primary Federal or State water-quality criteria were exceeded by any of the water-quality constituents analyzed for this report. Concentrations of major inorganic constituents, except iron and manganese, were low. Water from the lake is a sodium-bicarbonate type and is soft. Minor elements and organic compounds were present in low concentrations, many below detection limits. Nitrogen and phosphorus were the nutrients occurring in the highest concentrations. Nutrients were evenly distributed across the lake with no particular water-quality site indicating consistently higher or lower nutrient concentrations. No water samples analyzed for nitrate exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Maximum Contaminant Level of 10 milligrams per liter. Based on nitrogen to phosphorus ratios calculated for Cross Lake, median values for all water-quality sites were within the nitrogen-limited range (less than or equal to 5). Historical Trophic State Indexes for Cross Lake classified the lake as eutrophic. Recent (1998-99) Trophic State Indexes classify Cross Lake as mesotrophic-eutrophic, which might indicate a recution in eutrophication. Sedimentation traps indicate that Cross Lake is filling at an average rate of 0.41 inches per year. Concentrations of fecal-coliform and streptococci bacteria generally were low. Fecal coliform was detected in higher concentrations than fecal streptococci. High bacterial concentrations were measured shortly after rainfall-runoff events, possibly washing bacteria from surrounding areas into the lake.

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USGS Numbered Series
Water-quality and bottom-material characteristics of Cross Lake, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, 1997-99
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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101 p.