Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Abstract (EDOC: 12818)
Presque Isle Bay, Lake Erie, is a microtidal freshwater estuary on the North American Great Lakes. It is one of 40 remaining environmental Areas of Concern (AoCs) on the Great Lakes that have one or more water, habitat, or sediment quality impairments as defined by the International Joint Commission. In-situ natural capping using sediment from to-be-remediated watersheds and other sources is being considered as the most feasible means of remediating contaminated sediments in the estuary. A multi-decade sediment budget shows that, when localized anthropogenic effects are accounted for, the estuary net-accumulated sediment over time from three major sources: the Lake Erie littoral system (20%), streams (25%), and bank erosion and bluff recession (41%). The non-stream sources supply environmentally clean sediment from ancient coastal deposits along the shoreline, and from the modern littoral system. However, organic and metallic contaminants are supplied by streams and run-off and remain a remediation challenge. From a geological perspective, natural capping of contaminated sediment over the next several decades is a viable solution for the majority of the bay. The mechanism may not work effectively in all areas because approximately 25% of the bay floor is moderately net- erosional or accumulates sediments very slowly.
(2007): Improving lakebed sediment quality in an urban estuary, Presque Isle Bay, Lake Erie, USA. AGU 2007 Fall Meeting (San Francisco 2007).