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Thursday, October 24 • 11:00am - 11:30am
Bathymetry and Water Levels in Lagoonal Wetlands of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

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Lagoonal wetlands of the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior form within a dynamic coastal setting. Surface connections between the wetlands and Lake Superior vary from open river mouths to transient sand barriers that open and close periodically, to more stable sand barriers that remain closed for long periods. Accordingly, wetland hydrology is influenced to varying degrees by Lake Superior, direct precipitation, and groundwater inputs. To better understand water levels and inundation patterns in Apostle Island lagoons, we conducted bathymetric surveys and collected high temporal resolution water level data at seven wetlands throughout the summer and fall of 2017. Bathymetric data were interpolated to produce bathymetric maps over which wetland water level data were modeled. Preliminary results suggest multiple water level regimes and inundation patterns driven primarily by the stability of lake-lagoon sand barriers as well as conductance through the barriers themselves. Understanding how wetland water levels and bathymetry influence inundation patterns could improve our understanding of how biotic communities are structured in these habitats. Additionally, we can assess climate change vulnerability in these wetlands based on hydrology. Understanding lake-wetland connections and inundations patterns of these Apostle Islands lagoonal wetlands is important, since they may serve as reference ecosystems to which other Lake Superior lagoonal systems are compared.


Shelly Ray

Research Associate, Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation

Olivia Anderson

Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation, Water Resources Specialist

Thursday October 24, 2019 11:00am - 11:30am CDT
Main Meeting Room Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion 2 East Front Street, Bayfield, WI 54814

Attendees (2)