The White River Basin in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri contains four major reservoirs. Beaver, Table Rock, and Bull Shoals Lakes form a chain of reservoirs on the main stem of the White River. Norfork Lake is on the North Fork River, a tributary of the White River. Vertical water- column profiles of temperature and dissolved- oxygen concentrations have been collected monthly, in general, at sites near the dam of each reservoir since 1974. Hypolimnetic dissolved- oxygen dynamics of these reservoirs from 1974 through 1994 were examined based on the near-dam data and used to infer temporal changes in eutrophication. Regression models indicated that a positive relation existed between discharge through the dam during the stratification season and the areal hypolimnetic deficit. Temporal changes in the relative areal hypolimnetic oxygen deficit, a model that adjusts the areal hypolimnetic oxygen deficit to standard temperature and depth, showed a decreasing trend in Beaver Lake from 1974 through 1994, indicating that the level of eutrophication decreased. Little or no change in the relative areal hypolimnetic oxygen deficit occurred in Table Rock, Bull Shoals, or Norfork Lakes over the period of record. Temporal analysis of the residuals from the oxygen deficit-discharge model indicated that the oxygen deficit-discharge function changed over time in Beaver and Table Rock Lakes. There was little or no temporal trend in residuals of areal hypolimnetic oxygen deficit over the period of record for Bull Shoals and Norfork Lakes. Multiple regression using a time variable and discharge through the dam during the stratification season was examined for the four reservoirs. The slope coefficient of the time variable for both Beaver and Table Rock Lakes was negative, indicating that the temporal function driving the discharge related areal hypolimnetic oxygen deficit decreased over the period of record. This temporal function may be an expression of biological productivity or eutrophication. Based on these results, the level of eutrophication may have decreased in Beaver and Table Rock Lakes and remained stable in Bull Shoals and Norfork Lakes from 1974 through 1994. It is possible that the aging and evolutionary processes in Beaver, Table Rock, Bull Shoals, and Norfork Lakes are dominant in controlling biological productivity and eutrophication in each reservoir immediately above the dam. Beaver Lake is the youngest of the four reservoirs, constructed in 1963, and for the period of record, may have been in the initial stage of high productivity followed by a declining stage of productivity that generally occurs within a reservoir soon after impoundment. Table Rock Lake was constructed in 1959 and, for the period of record, may have been in the stage of declining productivity following the peak of productivity resulting from impoundment. The impoundment of Beaver Lake upstream also may have influenced the inferred decline of productivity within Table Rock Lake. Bull Shoals and Norfork Lakes are older than Beaver and Table Rock Lakes, constructed in 1951 and 1944, respectively. The reason that changes in eutrophication were not detected in Bull Shoals and Norfork Lakes could be that these reservoirs, for the period of record, were characterized by the stage of low and stable productivity that generally occurs within a reservoir many years after impoundment.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Eutrophication trends inferred from hypolimnetic dissolved-oxygen dynamics within selected White River reservoirs, northern Arkansas-southern Missouri, 1974-94
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey ;
Earth Science Information Center [distributor],