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Seasonal patterns in hydrochemical mixing in three Great Lakes rivermouth ecosystems
【发布时间:2019-12-11 】 【 】【打印】【关闭

作者: Mazur, Martha L. Carlson; Schaeffer, Jeff; Granneman, Jennifer E.;

Rivermouth ecosystems in the Laurentian Great Lakes represent complex hydrologic mixing zones where lake and river water combine to form biologically productive areas that are functionally similar to marine estuaries. As urban, industrial, shipping, and recreational centers, rivermouths are the focus of human interactions with the Great lakes and, likewise, may represent critical habitat for larval fish and other biota. The hydrology and related geomorphology in these deltaic systems form the basis for ecosystem processes and wetland habitat structure but are poorly understood. To this end, we examined hydrogeomorphic structure and lake-tributary mixing in three rivermouths of intermediate size using water chemistry, stable isotopes, and current profiling over a five-month period. In rivermouths of this size, the maximum depth of the rivermouth ecosystem influenced water mixing, with temperature-related, density-dependent wedging and layering that isolated lake water below river water occurring in deeper systems. The inherent size of the rivermouth ecosystem, local geomorphology, and human modifications such as shoreline armoring and dredging influenced mixing by altering the propensity for density differences to occur. The improved scientific understanding and framework for characterizing hydrogeomorphic processes in Great Lakes rivermouths across a disturbance gradient is useful for conservation, management, restoration, and protection of critical habitats needed by native species.

 

JOURNAL OF GREAT LAKES RESEARCH   卷: 45   期: 3   页: 651-663   出版年:  2019

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