Title

Heavy Metal Concentrations and Subfossil Assemblages as Indicators of Environmental Quality in Selected Wisconsin Lakes

Abstract

The environmental history of lake ecosystems in the United States is broadly defined by a slow increase in contamination triggered by the Industrial Revolution and urbanization beginning around 1850, a sharper increase around 1950 and a general decrease following environmental legislation in the 1970s. This collaborative study examines sediment cores taken from three Wisconsin lakes spanning a range of human influence: Lake Monona (impacted), Sparkling Lake (relatively pristine) and Shadow Lake (remediated). I and several other students collected and analyzed data from these lakes to create a comprehensive picture of environmental quality, using radiometric dating, sediment analysis, geochemistry and live/dead records of subfossil assemblages. Sediment cores were analyzed for heavy metal concentrations using X-ray fluorescence. Our data will be correlated to other students’ biologic and geochemical data, which together can be used to assess the consequences of both pollution and remediation on lake ecosystems.

Faculty Sponsor

Pat Spencer

Tracks

Secrets of the Deep II

Terms of Use

ARMINDA Terms of Use

Location

Science 100

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Research Funding Source or OCS Program

Keck Geology Consortium

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Heavy Metal Concentrations and Subfossil Assemblages as Indicators of Environmental Quality in Selected Wisconsin Lakes

Science 100

The environmental history of lake ecosystems in the United States is broadly defined by a slow increase in contamination triggered by the Industrial Revolution and urbanization beginning around 1850, a sharper increase around 1950 and a general decrease following environmental legislation in the 1970s. This collaborative study examines sediment cores taken from three Wisconsin lakes spanning a range of human influence: Lake Monona (impacted), Sparkling Lake (relatively pristine) and Shadow Lake (remediated). I and several other students collected and analyzed data from these lakes to create a comprehensive picture of environmental quality, using radiometric dating, sediment analysis, geochemistry and live/dead records of subfossil assemblages. Sediment cores were analyzed for heavy metal concentrations using X-ray fluorescence. Our data will be correlated to other students’ biologic and geochemical data, which together can be used to assess the consequences of both pollution and remediation on lake ecosystems.

Rights Statement

Rights Statement

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