Title

Iron Mobilization and Water Quality in the Restricted Herring River Estuar

Presenter

Evan Heberlein

Abstract

For over a century, the Herring River Estuary has been restricted through a dike which severely limits tidal exchange. Water quality has declined since the dike’s construction, and work is underway to restore the degraded tidal wetlands by increasing exchange with the Atlantic Ocean. This study analyzed pH and oxidation-reduction (redox) potential measurements from throughout the river system, and investigated the impacts these chemical attributes could have on the mobilization of bioactive heavy metals like Fe2+. Several nutrient sources were considered, including Cape Cod’s glacial geology and seasonal fluctuations in nutrient deposition. These findings can be used as a baseline for water quality monitoring once tidal exchange is increased in the estuary. The Herring River study also provides an opportunity to investigate aquatic nutrient dynamics, particularly related to eutrophication and the role of tides in estuarine function.

Faculty Sponsor

Allison Calhoun, Paul Yancey

Sponsor Department/Programs

Biology

Tracks

Poster Session

Location

Cordiner Hall

Presentation Type

Poster

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Apr 19th, 1:00 PM Apr 19th, 2:00 PM

Iron Mobilization and Water Quality in the Restricted Herring River Estuar

Cordiner Hall

For over a century, the Herring River Estuary has been restricted through a dike which severely limits tidal exchange. Water quality has declined since the dike’s construction, and work is underway to restore the degraded tidal wetlands by increasing exchange with the Atlantic Ocean. This study analyzed pH and oxidation-reduction (redox) potential measurements from throughout the river system, and investigated the impacts these chemical attributes could have on the mobilization of bioactive heavy metals like Fe2+. Several nutrient sources were considered, including Cape Cod’s glacial geology and seasonal fluctuations in nutrient deposition. These findings can be used as a baseline for water quality monitoring once tidal exchange is increased in the estuary. The Herring River study also provides an opportunity to investigate aquatic nutrient dynamics, particularly related to eutrophication and the role of tides in estuarine function.