Category: Great Lakes Cleanup

A spatio-temporal study of methylmercury biogeochemistry in wetlands of the southern Lake Michigan watershed

  • Measure the levels of total mercury (Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in the surface waters of wetlands across the Grand Calumet region of northwestern Indiana
  • Measure the concentrations of total and MeHg in wetland sediments – the main repositories for legacy Hg contamination in these wetlands
  • Measure the concentrations of total and MeHg in porewaters of wetland sediments – the main route for MeHg transport from the sediments to the overlying waters – in the region
  • Assess the MeHg levels in fish from wetlands with permanent open water

Application of Automated Remote Sensing and Deep Learning to Small Reservoir Identification and Water Quality Modeling in Lake Michigan Watersheds

The overarching goal of this graduate student scholars project is to better evaluate the effects of small dams and reservoirs on changing the flow of nutrients to downstream water bodies and water quality across Lake Michigan Watersheds. There are two primary objectives associated with this goal: (1). Small reservoir identification through a combination of remote-sensing and deep-learning approaches and reservoir dataset development with associated information (reservoir location, surface area, storage volume, catchment drainage area, and residence time). 2). Using hydrologic modelling and USGS water quality data collected above and below reservoirs to quantify the spatially and temporally varying effects of small reservoirs on water quality (nutrient runoff and retention). This proposed research is of pressing concern due to increased release of legacy contaminants to surface and groundwater around Lake Michigan.


Contamination of Wetland Sediments Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore: Implications for Wetland Restoration Strategies

  • To quantify the current environmental quality, both in terms of metal concentrations and ambient conditions (pH, Eh temperature. groundwater flow directions and velocities), in different subenvironments (defined in terms of hydrologic, ecological and disturbance histories) of the Great Marsh, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
  • To develop simple models/relationships to explain the spatial distribution of heavy metals across the Great Marsh and with depth within the sediments, and the environment conditions associated with enhanced mobility
  • To use these models/relationships to determine the potential for heavy metal release associated with certain changes in hydrology, hydrochemistry and sediment chemistry that may occur during and following wetland restoration at the Great Marsh

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