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Sediment characteristics and the trophic status of four Oregon lakes : project completion report Public Deposited

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Research Grant A-027-ORE


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  • This study was undertaken to evaluate the usefulness of sediment records for correlating changes in the sediment characteristics of four Oregon lakes with past cultural developments of the lakes and their watersheds. The lakes chosen for this study were Waldo, Odell, and Diamond lakes located in the Cascade mountains and Devils Lake located on the Oregon coast. Percentage dry weight, percentage organic matter, sedimentary chlorophyll degradation products (SCDP), total phosphorus, total organic nitrogen, and diatom assemblages were used as indices of sediment changes through time. Profiles of selected characteristics of the sediment cores reflected the events unique to each lake and its watershed. Characteristics of Waldo Lake sediments indicated that the lake has always been ultra­oligotrophic. The sedimentation rate was very low and the diatom assemblages revealed the unchanging water quality of the lake. Odell Lake responded to enrichment of its waters by shifting from its original oligotrophic condition to a more productive status. When the enrichment was reduced, the lake responded by returning to a new intermediate productivity level. This was revealed by changes in profiles of percentage dry weight, percentage organic matter, SCDP, and diatom assemblages. Diamond Lake appears to have increased in productivity as a result of human activities. This was shown also by shifts in SCDP, percentage organic matter, percentage dry weight and diatom assemblages. Although many changes occurred in the watershed of Devils Lake, sediment analysis showed changes only in profiles of total phosphorus and total organic nitrogen.
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