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TitleGroundwater contribution keeps trophic status low in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, Canada
AuthorBaker, J; Grasby, S EORCID logo; Ryan, M C
SourceCanadian Water Resources Journal 2018 p. 1-16,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20180020
PublisherInforma UK Limited
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf; html
NTS83A/04; 83A/05; 83A/12; 83B/01; 83B/02; 83B/07; 83B/08; 83B/09; 83B/10
AreaSylvan Lake
Lat/Long WENS-115.0000 -113.5000 52.7500 52.0000
Subjectshydrogeology; environmental geology; geochemistry; surface waters; lakes; groundwater; aquifers; watersheds; groundwater flow; groundwater regimes; groundwater discharge; water well records; bedrock geology; lithology; sedimentary rocks; sandstones; channel deposits; shales; hydrostratigraphic units; hydraulic analyses; hydraulic head; hydraulic gradients; hydraulic conductivity; hydrologic environment; lake water geochemistry; total dissolved solids; water quality; calcium geochemistry; magnesium geochemistry; sodium geochemistry; chlorophyll; chloride geochemistry; potentiometric surfaces; drillholes; core samples; pump tests; isotopic studies; oxygen isotopes; hydrogen isotopes; land use; regional planning; Paskapoo Formation; Phanerozoic; Cenozoic; Quaternary; Tertiary
Illustrationslocation maps; geoscientific sketch maps; bar graphs; tables; cross-sections; ternary diagrams; graphs; 3-D models
ProgramGroundwater Geoscience Aquifer Assessment & support to mapping
Released2018 06 11
AbstractWater well drilling records combined with geologic observation around Sylvan Lake suggest a permeable, fractured groundwater-bearing channel sandstone extends along the northeast margin of the lake, and is surrounded by a matrix of shale with small sandy interbeds. Chloride and water isotope mass-balance approaches found groundwater fluxes were 37 to 43% of total annual lake water inputs, and were consistent with Darcy flux estimates for the channel sandstone. The groundwater contribution to the lake water budget contributes to an estimated lake-water residence time ranging from 22 to 30 years, which is much lower than other lakes in the region and lakes of similar size. Groundwater through-flow in the hydraulically connected channel sandstone unit of the Paskapoo Formation appears to play a critical role in maintaining the relatively low total dissolved solids (and trophic status) of Sylvan Lake, as compared to other lakes in south-central Alberta. Due to the hydraulic connection of the sandstone channel with Sylvan Lake, land use along the north side of the lake (above the sandstone channel unit) should be carefully considered to mitigate groundwater (and consequently lake water) quality impacts.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This study examined the anomalous good water quality of a popular recreation lake in central Alberta. As there is no freshwater inflow or outflow to the lake, the water would be expected to be of lower quality than it is compared to other similar lakes. The study showed that there is a significant groundwater flow through the lake system that keeps the lake water replenished and exchanged. This study highlights the importance of understanding surface/groundwater interaction.

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