The nutrient contribution of groundwater in glacial outwash terrain was evaluated at Lake Sallie in north-central U.S.A. (46°46’ N., 95° 54’ W.). Groundwater entering the lake was collected with seepage meters consisting of bottomless cylinders vented to a thin membrane bag. A theoretical flow net and comparison of nutrient concentrations in well and seepage water indicated that seepage meters can be used in high velocity discharge areas to obtain site-specific water samples of groundwater for nutrient analyses. Based on an average value of 0.25 mg/l PO4, groundwater inflow along an 800 km segment of shoreline transported 37 kg of phosphorus per year into the lake. Groundwater inflow was nitrate rich along shoreline adjacent so land used for agriculture and lakeside septic tanks, but there was no apparent pattern regarding land use and phosphorus content of groundwater inflow. A nearby eutrophic lake was a suspected source of phosphorus in groundwater inflow. Because surface flow has carried large quantities of nitrogen and phosphorus into this lake, its present eutrophic condition cannot be attributed to nutrient influx by groundwater. However, groundwater nutrient influx could be highly significant in other lakes where surface nutrient influx is small.
Lee, David Robert.
The role of groundwater in eutrophication of a lake in glacial outwash terrain.
International Journal of Speleology,
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ijs/vol8/iss1/10