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Coastal & Marine Geology Program > St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > Lake Pontchartrain Basin

Geologic Framework and Processes of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin

Lake Pontchartrain Basin Home
Field Methods
Topics of Investigation
Geologic Framework
Wetland Change
Water Circulation
Satellite Imagery
Bonnet-Carré Spillway Event
Water Turbidity
Sea-Surface Temperature
1997 Algal Bloom
Project Contact:
Jim Flocks

Water Circulation

Water circulation in Lake Pontchartrain was characterized by wind, current, tide, turbidity, salinity, and temperature measurements. Satellite images were also studied to observe water quality over time. Water circulation resuspends polluted bottom sediments, and knowledge of circulation is key to predicting where the contaminants are likely to be concentrated. The objective was to construct a computer model of circulation patterns.

Resuspension and transport of bottom sediments and pollutants due to wave action are important physical components to sediment distribution in Lake Pontchartrain. Two critical processes related to sediment transport in the lake are:

  1. the resuspension of sediments due to wind-generated storm waves
  2. the movement of resuspended material by lake currents during storm-wind events

see the following USGS webpages for more information on these activities in Lake Pontchartrain:
»  Circulation Modeling
»  Wave Modeling
These processes are being studied by modeling and measuring wind-induced waves and their associated bottom currents, by modeling and measuring tide and wind-induced circulation, and by analyzing data on the basin's suspended sediment concentrations under a variety of conditions.

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Coastal & Marine Geology Program > St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > Lake Pontchartrain Basin

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Updated December 05, 2016 @ 11:25 AM (THF)