Event Title

Assessment of Total Dissolved Carbon Dioxide in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness as Compared to Lake Michigan

Presenter Information

Matthew Ryther

Mentor 1

Russell Cuhel

Mentor 2

Carmen Aguilar

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

27-4-2018 1:00 PM

Description

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is part of Minnesota’s Superior National Forest and extends into Canada’s Quetico Provincial Park. It contains 20% of the freshwater in the National forest system and is composed of 1,090,000 acres of wilderness, glacial lakes, and streams. An important aspect of this area is the Laurentian Divide between the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay watersheds, runs northeast–southwest through the east side of the BWCAW. By studying this unspoiled area of freshwater and wilderness we are able to better understand not only its composition but also create a baseline to assess how stressors may effect it and surrounding freshwater bodies such as the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay watersheds in the future. To begin this long-term experiment, in July of 2017 I took a 7 day expedition by canoe through the eastern side of the BWCAW. Equipped with a 30ml syringe and disposable 0.2 micron filters I collected 16 samples over the course of a week; between eight lakes and one river. With previous experience of assessing total dissolved carbon dioxide via flow injection analysis and water sampling methods on Lake Michigan I was able to document the levels of dissolved carbon dioxide at each sample point. The samples ranged from 0.09mM to 0.44mM of dissolved CO2 which is about 12x less than that of Lake Michigan at 2.00mM. I discovered that the entrance to the Loon river had much higher levels of CO2 at 0.44mM; this is because the lake it is connected to allows motor boats and cabins while the others lakes are restricted to no motors. This is comparable to the Milwaukee river where CO2 levels reach up to 5.00mM and decrease as you move further out into Lake Michigan.

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Apr 27th, 1:00 PM

Assessment of Total Dissolved Carbon Dioxide in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness as Compared to Lake Michigan

Union Wisconsin Room

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is part of Minnesota’s Superior National Forest and extends into Canada’s Quetico Provincial Park. It contains 20% of the freshwater in the National forest system and is composed of 1,090,000 acres of wilderness, glacial lakes, and streams. An important aspect of this area is the Laurentian Divide between the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay watersheds, runs northeast–southwest through the east side of the BWCAW. By studying this unspoiled area of freshwater and wilderness we are able to better understand not only its composition but also create a baseline to assess how stressors may effect it and surrounding freshwater bodies such as the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay watersheds in the future. To begin this long-term experiment, in July of 2017 I took a 7 day expedition by canoe through the eastern side of the BWCAW. Equipped with a 30ml syringe and disposable 0.2 micron filters I collected 16 samples over the course of a week; between eight lakes and one river. With previous experience of assessing total dissolved carbon dioxide via flow injection analysis and water sampling methods on Lake Michigan I was able to document the levels of dissolved carbon dioxide at each sample point. The samples ranged from 0.09mM to 0.44mM of dissolved CO2 which is about 12x less than that of Lake Michigan at 2.00mM. I discovered that the entrance to the Loon river had much higher levels of CO2 at 0.44mM; this is because the lake it is connected to allows motor boats and cabins while the others lakes are restricted to no motors. This is comparable to the Milwaukee river where CO2 levels reach up to 5.00mM and decrease as you move further out into Lake Michigan.