Reservoirs, Could They be Indicators of Climate Change?

Track 4A: Monitoring Water Quality
Friday, October 13, 2017, 10:00 am – 11:50 am

Carolyn Thomas & Delia R. Heck
Ferrum College
Ferrum, Virginia

This presentation will discuss the characteristics of a Virginia reservoir that has been studied for 30 years for trophic status and bacterial populations, Smith Mountain Lake (50 year old pumped storage reservoir of 25,000+ acres) in Franklin, Bedford and Pittsylvania Counties. For ten years we have also been measuring depth profiles of dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity and temperature and evaluating the algal populations in Smith Mountain Lake. Surface water measurements have been made of temperature and dissolved oxygen every other week from May to August since 1995 in the reservoir. Summer depth profiles will be described also. Conference attendees will hear about the probable effects of climate change indicated by changes in the surface temperatures and dissolved oxygen measured over the last 10 years. Depth profiles will be presented for temperature, dissolved oxygen, specific conductivity and pH which will demonstrate the increase in the depth of the thermocline over the 10 years studied and the effect of the change on the other parameters, dissolved oxygen, pH and specific conductivity. Other measurements and observations made over the 30-year water quality program include total phosphorus, chlorophyll-a, water clarity, total nitrogen, bacterial populations, and algal populations.