Marine Science

Marine Science

Senior Theses 2004

Rebekah Fuller (2004). Nutrient dynamics of a subtropical, hypereutrophic lake: Lake Maggiore, Pinellas County, Florida
Faculty advisor: Laura Wetzel


Experimentation was begun in August 2003, with the expectation that results would yield a significant relationship between the water quality problems currently plaguing Lake Maggiore, Pinellas County, Florida, and the thick layer of organic rich sediments lining its bottom. Close examination of the Total Phosphorus concentrations within the interstitial waters revealed that they were in excess of 300 times less concentrated than the overlying water column. The cause of this was determined to be the general lack of retention capacity of the sediments within the watershed combined with pH and dissolved oxygen levels that did not allow for the sorption of orthophosphate by iron within the system.

After determining that internal loading due to interactions between pore waters and the water column were extremely minimal, attention was turned to other whole lake processes such as external loading, increased sedimentation rates, and wind-driven re-suspension activity. It was the suggestion that the water quality problems within the lake were due primarily to the external loading of non-point source pollutants through an active storm water drainage system within the watershed. The problems were further exacerbated by abnormally high pH levels and frequent sediment re-suspension episodes due to local wind activity. These problems should be addressed first and foremost in any remediation plans attempted to return the lake to a healthy state.

Student Research