Water chemistry of Oregon Cascade wilderness lakes : a comparison to 1985 data Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/pc289p35j

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  • The Western Lake Survey (WLS) of 1985 documented the status of lake water chemistry across the western US and inferred population representations of various subregions and geomorphic units via statistically analyses. Results from this 1985 study indicated that lakes of the Oregon Cascades had the second most pristine and dilute lake water chemistry in the nation. Accompanying this finding were indications of the extreme vulnerability of these lakes to acidification due to unique High Cascade geology and hydrology. This current study replicates the methods and analyses of the WLS for six Oregon Cascade wilderness lakes and presents analytical water chemistry results and modeling scenarios, along with quality assurance documentation and comparisons to 1985 data. Results indicate variability in cation and anion composition since the 1985 study. Acid neutralizing capacity, Na⁺, and K⁺ exhibited p-value test (95% confidence) determined significant increases since 1985 for each lake sampled. pH remained relatively stable; however decreased outside of data uncertainty ranges for one lake (Helen Lake, pH drop of 0.4 pH units). Changes both inside and outside data uncertainty ranges for other parameters analyzed were documented; however, major anthropogenic influences on water chemistry was not apparent. Data serves as a valuable addition to the ongoing 'database of results' for Oregon Cascade lake water chemistry. A deliverable of this research is a long term monitoring plan with additional parameters to further document and understand Oregon Cascade wilderness lake water chemistry in the face of increasing atmospheric deposition of anthropogenic chemicals and a changing climate.
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