Hydrodynamics of coastal waters of the Great Lakes: observations and modeling for water quality

Ram Yerubandi

Thursday 2 july 2015

12:54 - 12:57h at Asia (level 0)

Themes: (T) Hydro-environment, (ST) Impacts of pollutants on the water environment, Poster pitches

Parallel session: Poster pitches: 11G. Environment - Impact

The coastal zones of oceans and lakes are truly dynamic ecological systems with continuous natural erosion and accretion at the shoreline. At the coastal interface, the sea is shallow and the land is low. Sand and mud flats receive frequent floods and river run-off, while wind and waves bring continual change to the shoreline. However, it is man’s activities which cause the greatest and most rapid change, and which are the primary reason for the concern with coastal resources management. The coastal zone is particularly vulnerable to global changes such as climate change, sea level change, which is in itself a derivative of the climate change, and changes in uses of land and fresh water. These global changes may fundamentally modify geomorphologic, hydrodynamic, geochemical and biological processes in the coastal zone and affect significantly transports of materials from the land to rivers and seas. In this paper, examples of water quality problems in coastal oceans and the Great Lakes will be discussed. The transport and fate of nutrients and contaminants discharged through sewage outfalls, rivers and non point sources into the nearshore zone is one example. Their residence time and their degree of accumulation in the sediments are partly controlled by the physical exchange processes and partly by biotic processes active in the coastal regions. Many Great Lakes beaches like the ocean beaches are used extensively for recreation. But the water along some stretches of shoreline has become polluted, rendering beaches there unfit for bathing. Another example is the introduction of exotic species into the lakes. This is playing a major role in changing the ecology of the Great Lakes. Recently, it has been proposed that the mussel colonization has implications for the removal and fate of materials in the nearshore zone. Since 2000, the excessive growth of algae is again becoming a problem along the shores of the shores of the Great lakes. Intense earthy/musty taste and odour in drinking water has been occurring for a prolonged periods in late summer in Lake Ontario.

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