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Date Permissions Signed

5-16-2014

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Matthews, Robin A., 1952-

Second Advisor

Homann, Peter S., 1953-

Third Advisor

Bodensteiner, Leo R., 1957-

Abstract

The purpose of my study was to find reliable patterns in the data that linked watershed characteristics to water quality. The project area was regional in scope, spanning two very different ecoregions, involving 50 lakes many of which have been sampled for 7 years. I found highly significant correlations (Kendall's tau > 0.500, pvalue < 0.001) between total phosphorus, chlorophyll α, total nitrogen, and turbidity. Total phosphorus, chlorophyll α, total nitrogen, and turbidity also strongly correlated with mean and maximum lake depths. I also found highly significant correlations between watershed area, fetch, road length, and population. Road length and population were the parameters that best described residential development in my study. By evaluating lake water quality with regard to total phosphorus, chlorophyll α, and using road length and population as indicators of development, I identified lakes that were at-risk due to development within the watersheds and the likelihood of nutrient resuspension. The most at-risk lake was Reed Lake. Currently Reed Lake is at the high end of the mesotrophic range, but it is at risk of becoming more permanently eutrophic due to the pressures of development on the water quality exacerbated by the likelihood of nutrient resuspension. Using clustering analysis based on principal components, the watersheds in my study formed three stable groups that were related to water quality and lake and watershed morphology. The extent to which soils affect water quality in these lakes was not fully revealed by the results of my work and is worthy of further investigation.

Type

Text

Publisher

Western Washington University

OCLC Number

880399187

Digital Format

application/pdf

Geographic Coverage

Washington (State), Western

Genre/Form

Academic theses

Language

English

Rights

Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

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