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Lake and Reservoir Fate and Transport of Chemicals

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Abstract

“Eutrophication” is originally used to describe aging process whereby a lake is transformed from a lake to a marsh to a meadow (fill the lake with sediments). “Cultural eutrophication” occurs when the lake aging process is quickened or accelerated by excess nutrients from human activities [1]. Understanding of the fate and transport of water quality constituents in lakes and reservoirs is essential to sustaining water quality and fish habitat in these inland waters. Constituent is used generically and does not necessarily mean a polluting substance, e.g., dissolved oxygen (DO) is a relatively benign variable. The fate of a constitute typically depends on its transport (movement) through an inland water system (lake or reservoir) and on sources, sinks, chemical and biological reactions, and other decay mechanisms (e.g., settling). When sediment input is more than sediment outflow or nutrients are more than demands of aquatic plants, a lake or reservoir becomes not sustainable and the aging process of a lake is accelerated. The study of fate and transport of a substance in a lake or reservoir is to qualitatively and quantitatively account for mass balance of the substance through boundaries of and within the waterbody. Using the principle of the conservation of mass to investigate mass balance is not a new topic, but closely examining mass balance of various water quality constituents in inland waters was only started a few decades ago, and sustainability of aquatic systems is a relative new topic to researchers, water resources managers, and the public. Due to waterborne pathogens as one of the prime causes of disease, civil engineers began to plan, design, and construct urban water and wastewater systems in the late nineteenth century, and then the water quality management processes or models from streams to lakes and reservoirs emerged. In the United States (U.S.), Rivers and Harbors Act in 1899 to Federal Water Pollution Control Act in 1972 (subsequently amended and called the Act Clean Water Act) promoted studies on water quality in receiving waters. Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the potential for long-term maintenance of well-being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions. Sustainability in lakes and reservoirs involves how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time and how designated uses (e.g., water supply, recreation, fish and wildlife, etc.) endure over time. Lake and reservoir fate and transport involve understanding and maintaining healthy aquatic ecosystems and environments that provide vital goods and services to humans and other organisms.

Keywords

  • Dissolve Oxygen
  • Biochemical Oxygen Demand
  • Secchi Depth
  • Fish Habitat
  • Water Quality Model

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This chapter was originally published as part of the Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology edited by Robert A. Meyers. DOI:10.1007/978-1-4419-0851-3

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Abbreviations

Dimictic lake:

A lake that has two complete mixing (circulation) periods per year (one in spring after the ice melts and another in fall before the ice forms).

Hyporheic flow:

Flow in a region beneath and along a stream bed. It is characterized as mixing of shallow groundwater and surface water which is important to sedimentary oxygen uptake.

Lentic:

“Stagnant” waterbody as opposed to “flowing”.

Limnology:

Science or the study of inland waters, e.g., lakes and reservoirs.

Oxythermal parameter:

Variable to define fish habitat in inland waters using dissolved oxygen (DO) and water temperature limits, e.g., TDO3 – temperature at DO = 3 mg/L.

Particulate:

Tiny subdivisions of solid matter suspended in a gas or liquid, also known as particulate matter (PM) or fine particles.

Residence time:

The mean amount of time that water or a substance would stay or “reside” in a lake or reservoir. Hydraulic residence time is equal to lake volume divided by outflow rate. The residence time of a substance is equal to the quantity of a substance in volume divided by the change of a substance in volume over time through various lake’s removal mechanisms (outflow or flushing, settling, and chemical and biological reactions).

Sedimentation:

The process or tendency for particles in suspension to settle out of the fluid in which they are entrained and come to rest against a barrier (e.g., lake or river bed).

Solute:

Material dissolved in water of a lake.

Stratification:

The formation of horizontal layers (strata) in which water temperature and concentration of substances are different along depth of a lake and reservoir.

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Stefan, H.G., Fang, X., Gulliver, J.S. (2012). Lake and Reservoir Fate and Transport of Chemicals. In: Gulliver, J. (eds) Transport and Fate of Chemicals in the Environment. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5731-2_11

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