Event Title

Effectiveness of Floating Islands to Reduce Suspended Solids and Nutrients in Shallow Prairie Pothole lakes - Lake Titlow Case Study

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

20-4-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

20-4-2015 3:30 PM

Student's Major

Chemistry and Geology

Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Mentor's Name

Bryce Hoppie

Mentor's Email Address

bryce.hoppie@mnsu.edu

Mentor's Department

Chemistry and Geology

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Description

Strong and persistent winds often cause pollution in shallow lakes by resuspending excessive amounts of lake bottom sediment and buried nutrients. Artificial floating islands (of wetland flora) are commonly used to improve water quality in ponds by suspending plants that remove nutrients directly from the water. To test the potential for floating islands to limit sediment resuspension and improve water quality in typical prairie pothole lakes, six experimental and two control models of Lake Titlow, Sibley County, Minnesota, were constructed. Paired scale models of shallow lakes, one with floating islands and one without, were subjected to low, medium and high wind velocities during three separate tests of nine days each. Water quality parameters measured in the models included suspended solids, total phosphorus, and chlorophyll-a. Results demonstrate that the floating islands produce an exponential reduction in suspended solids at medium and high wind velocities relative to the models without islands. The floating island models also experienced reductions in total phosphorus at low wind velocities that exceeded 100% while medium and high velocity reductions were greater than a factor of four. The reduction of chlorophyll-a in the models with floating islands was measured at 92% at low velocities with reductions up to 770% at higher velocities. Consequently, the results of this research imply that floating islands hold the potential to ameliorate the negative effects of strong and persistent winds on shallow lakes.

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Apr 20th, 2:00 PM Apr 20th, 3:30 PM

Effectiveness of Floating Islands to Reduce Suspended Solids and Nutrients in Shallow Prairie Pothole lakes - Lake Titlow Case Study

CSU Ballroom

Strong and persistent winds often cause pollution in shallow lakes by resuspending excessive amounts of lake bottom sediment and buried nutrients. Artificial floating islands (of wetland flora) are commonly used to improve water quality in ponds by suspending plants that remove nutrients directly from the water. To test the potential for floating islands to limit sediment resuspension and improve water quality in typical prairie pothole lakes, six experimental and two control models of Lake Titlow, Sibley County, Minnesota, were constructed. Paired scale models of shallow lakes, one with floating islands and one without, were subjected to low, medium and high wind velocities during three separate tests of nine days each. Water quality parameters measured in the models included suspended solids, total phosphorus, and chlorophyll-a. Results demonstrate that the floating islands produce an exponential reduction in suspended solids at medium and high wind velocities relative to the models without islands. The floating island models also experienced reductions in total phosphorus at low wind velocities that exceeded 100% while medium and high velocity reductions were greater than a factor of four. The reduction of chlorophyll-a in the models with floating islands was measured at 92% at low velocities with reductions up to 770% at higher velocities. Consequently, the results of this research imply that floating islands hold the potential to ameliorate the negative effects of strong and persistent winds on shallow lakes.

Recommended Citation

Hunt, Kelly. "Effectiveness of Floating Islands to Reduce Suspended Solids and Nutrients in Shallow Prairie Pothole lakes - Lake Titlow Case Study." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 20, 2015.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2015/poster_session_B/22