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2002: Historical patterns of land use and trophic status of Lake Matoaka

Mellisa Pensa (Biology) and Scott VanBenschoten (History)

The objective of the study is to determine the chronology of sediment and nutrient deposition in Lake Matoaka, for comparison with the historical patterns of land use in the surrounding watershed. We will use standard analyses of sediment cores to develop vertical profiles of changes in sediment and nutrient deposition from five different sub-watersheds surrounding the lake. Historical changes in trophic status will be determined from patterns of deposition of nutrients (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, iron, and silica). A synoptic survey of nutrients in surface sediments throughout the lake will be used to construct lake-wide isopleths of nutrient concentrations and to identify existing regions of nutrient enrichment in surface sediments. For this first year of what is envisioned to be a two-year study, products will include maps of nutrient concentrations in lake sediments that are expected to vary as a function of sub-watershed location and distance from stream deltas. Historical data on sediment and nutrient concentrations in cores will document significant depositional events within each sub-watershed drainage system. Historical data on changes in watershed land use also will be collected and mapped using GIS.

For additional documentation Mellisa Pensa and Scott VanBenschoten provided a PowerPoint Presentation entitled, "Historical Patterns of Land Use and Trophic Status of Lake Matoaka," provided here in PDF form.