Title

Is Kentucky Lake Getting Saltier?

Presenter Information

Adam MartinFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Chemistry

Minor

Biology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Susan Hendricks; Bommanna Loganathan

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Freshwater streams and lakes typically has about 1% of the salt content of ocean water. However, recent reports have revealed an increasing trend of salinization in hundreds of streams, rivers and lakes across North America, China, Europe and Russia. One of the major causes for this surge is attributed to road salt. In the US, road salt is used as deicer since 1940s. According to reports, 22 million metric tons of road salt (predominantly contain sodium/calcium) is used per year, compared with about 4,500 metric tons in the early 1940s. In addition, sewage diffuses salts from our body, agricultural fertilizer releases potassium salts, acidic rainfall dissolves limestone and concrete leading to releases of calcium and bicarbonate ions and mining activities delivers several different salt ions into waterways through runoff. Human activities increases salinity of today’s freshwater resources that may adversely affect the ecosystems and water supplies. Specific aim of this study was to determine temporal trend of dissolved calcium and chloride levels in our regional waters. Surface and bottom water samples were collected during Kentucky Lake Monitoring Program (KLMP) cruises as well as selected locations in the Ohio River and two tributary streams. Samples were filtered using 0.45 µm filters, acidified and analyzed for calcium using an Atomic Absorption Spectrometer. Calcium levels and long-term monitoring data on chloride levels in Kentucky Lake were examined for temporal trends. The results showed an increasing trend in calcium concentrations during the past decade. Calcium levels steadily increased in concentration from 16.0 ppm (May 2012) to 40.0 ppm (April 2018). KLMP long-term monitoring data revealed a steady increasing trend of chloride levels during the past three decades. As a consequence, increasing levels of calcium may be attributable to the recent elevated occurrence of zebra mussel colonies in Kentucky Lake.

Spring Scholars Week 2019 Event

Sigma Xi Poster Competition (Juried)

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Is Kentucky Lake Getting Saltier?

Freshwater streams and lakes typically has about 1% of the salt content of ocean water. However, recent reports have revealed an increasing trend of salinization in hundreds of streams, rivers and lakes across North America, China, Europe and Russia. One of the major causes for this surge is attributed to road salt. In the US, road salt is used as deicer since 1940s. According to reports, 22 million metric tons of road salt (predominantly contain sodium/calcium) is used per year, compared with about 4,500 metric tons in the early 1940s. In addition, sewage diffuses salts from our body, agricultural fertilizer releases potassium salts, acidic rainfall dissolves limestone and concrete leading to releases of calcium and bicarbonate ions and mining activities delivers several different salt ions into waterways through runoff. Human activities increases salinity of today’s freshwater resources that may adversely affect the ecosystems and water supplies. Specific aim of this study was to determine temporal trend of dissolved calcium and chloride levels in our regional waters. Surface and bottom water samples were collected during Kentucky Lake Monitoring Program (KLMP) cruises as well as selected locations in the Ohio River and two tributary streams. Samples were filtered using 0.45 µm filters, acidified and analyzed for calcium using an Atomic Absorption Spectrometer. Calcium levels and long-term monitoring data on chloride levels in Kentucky Lake were examined for temporal trends. The results showed an increasing trend in calcium concentrations during the past decade. Calcium levels steadily increased in concentration from 16.0 ppm (May 2012) to 40.0 ppm (April 2018). KLMP long-term monitoring data revealed a steady increasing trend of chloride levels during the past three decades. As a consequence, increasing levels of calcium may be attributable to the recent elevated occurrence of zebra mussel colonies in Kentucky Lake.