Temporal and spatial differences in deposition of organic matter and black carbon in Lake Michigan sediments over the period 1850–2010

Solidea M.C. Bonina, Garry Codling, Margaret B. Corcoran, Jiehong Guo, John P. Giesy, An Li, Neil C. Sturchio, Karl J. Rockne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Inorganic carbon (IC), total organic carbon (OC), and black carbon (BC) were analyzed in eight sediment cores obtained from deep water (>30 m) sediments in the Chippewa and south Chippewa basins, as well as Green Bay in Lake Michigan. These cores were segmented at high resolution and radio-dated to reconstruct a detailed history of deposition to the lake both spatially and temporally since ca. 1850 CE. To help interpret the depositional record, cores were also characterized for stable isotopes (13C and 15N), as well as particle size distribution, density, organic matter (OM), and other parameters. Fine (silt and clay) sediment particles contained OM of primarily lacustrine algal biomass origin. Sedimentation fluxes showed large increases in OM and OC fluxes through much of the lake during the onset of industrialization and the period of rapid industrialization to onset of Great Lakes environmental legislation. In contrast, fluxes and loading of BC increased dramatically in the southern basin until the 1930's, then decreased substantially after the 1940's. This observation was due largely to results from site M009 nearest the steel mills and industrial zones of Chicago and northern Indiana. Together, whole lake loadings of OM and BC provide evidence that changing industrial activity and legislation intended to curb air pollution in the Great Lakes region have had a fairly rapid and dramatic impact. In contrast, legislation intended to decrease eutrophication through reductions in nutrient loading to the lake have not had a similar impact on sedimentation of OM in the lake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-715
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Great Lakes Research
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office grant number GL-00E00538 and by other resources and funds from the Applied Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory in the Department of Civil and Materials Engineering of the University of Illinois at Chicago. The authors wish to thank the Captain and crew of the R/V Lake Guardian and University of Illinois at Chicago researchers: Dr. Kelly Granberg, Dr. Raja Kaliappan (both Department of Civil and Materials Engineering), and Dr. Andy Sandy (School of Public Health) for assistance with sampling, and Professor Miquel Gonzalez-Meler (Department of Biological Sciences) for the use of the isotope ratio mass spectrometer. Professor Giesy was supported by the Canada Research Chairs program and a Discovery Grant (Project # 326415-07) from the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada and a grant from the Western Economic Diversification Canada (Project # 6578 and 6807).

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office grant number GL-00E00538 and by other resources and funds from the Applied Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory in the Department of Civil and Materials Engineering of the University of Illinois at Chicago. The authors wish to thank the Captain and crew of the R/V Lake Guardian and University of Illinois at Chicago researchers: Dr. Kelly Granberg, Dr. Raja Kaliappan (both Department of Civil and Materials Engineering), and Dr. Andy Sandy (School of Public Health) for assistance with sampling, and Professor Miquel Gonzalez-Meler (Department of Biological Sciences) for the use of the isotope ratio mass spectrometer. Professor Giesy was supported by the Canada Research Chairs program and a Discovery Grant (Project # 326415-07) from the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada and a grant from the Western Economic Diversification Canada (Project # 6578 and 6807).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018

Keywords

  • Black carbon
  • Laurentian Great Lakes
  • Loading
  • Organic carbon
  • Organic matter
  • Sediment cores
  • Sedimentation

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