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Lecture 9

Lecture 9 - Introduction to the Great Lakes.pdf

Earth Sciences
Course Code
Luc Bernier

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Introduction to the Great Lakes
1) Which argument between Canada and the US was renewed in September 2012?
a. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
b. Boundary Waters Treaty
c. Columbia River Treaty
d. Juan de Fuca Strait Water Agreement
More than 12,000 km from west to east
What are the Main Characteristics of the System?
The largest system of fresh, surface water on earth
Have played a major role in the history and development of the United States and Canada
Home to more than 25% of the population of Canada
More than 10% of the population of the U.S.
25% of the agricultural production is located around the great lakes
7% of the agricultural production of the US is around the great lakes
Part 1 - Introduction to the System
2) Which of the Great Lakes has been the most affected by the impacts of agriculture
a. Huron
b. Erie
c. Michigan
d. Ontario
3) WhichoftheGreatLakeshastheworld’slargestconcentrationofpulpandpapermills?
a. Huron
b. Erie
c. Michigan
d. Ontario
4) Which of the Great Lakes is only substantially affected by airborne pollution?
a. Superior
b. Erie
c. Michigan
d. Ontario
Map of the great lakes basin in terms of their relief
23,000 km3 of freshwater is contained in the great lakes
The total surface area is 244,000 km2
The green areas are much closer to sea level
Water flows inland to the great lakes

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Introduction to the Great Lakes
All these areas drain water inland to the great lakes
Flow is Superior Michigan Huron Erie Ontario St. Lawrence River
Moving from areas at higher sea levels to lower sea levels and eventually reaching the
Atlantic ocean
Lake Ontario discharged into the St. Lawrence river and eventually to the Atlantic ocean
Through this travel water had been substantially impacted by pollution

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Introduction to the Great Lakes
Pollution and the Great Lakes
Sensitive to the effects of: a wide range of pollutants
Vulnerable to direct atmospheric pollutants
Outflow from the Great Lakes: relatively small
o Less than 1% per year discharged to the St. Lawrence River
o Spends many years to centuries in the great lakes
Some substance biomagnify and bioaccumulate
Lake Superior
The largest, the deepest and coldest
Has a retention time of 191 years
Soils are not very good at sustaining agriculture at the large scale
Relatively few pollutants enter the Lake
The lake is very sensitive to atmospheric pollution
Lake Michigan
Northern part in the colder, less developed upper Great Lakes region
Receiveswastedfromtheworld’slargestconcentration of pulp and paper mills
One of the most productive in terms of fisheries
Home to about 20% of the total population of the basin
Lake Huron
Includes Georgian Bay
Third largest of the lakes by volume
Saginaw Bay Contain fisheries
o Shades of pink are urban development
Cottage destination for many Canadian and Americans
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