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2nd midterm study guide - Lecture Notes

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Geography 2011A/B
Wendy Dickinson

2 midterm study guide Lecture 1: Water and the Great Lakes: Water: - in Canada, water is very common - common property (lose sight of value because it is a common property) - value land much more than water o don’t think about water unless there is too much (flood) or too little (drought) Great Lakes: (called the laurentian great lakes) - Great lake = lake over 500 km2 - 250 great lakes world wide o 1/3 in Canada - Laurentian Great Lakes (the biggest 5) o Superior o Huron o Michigan o Erie o Ontario Characteristics of the Great Lakes Basin: - Watershed: a basin (edges are highland and then it decreases as it goes down) o 295,000 square miles o 764,051 square kilometres - Shoreline: o 12,100 miles (20,207 km) o 6850 miles in Ontario and Quebec o 5270 miles in 8 US States - Drainage: o Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, east through Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, to the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Ocean. (order of drainage) The Great Lakes: - contain 23,000 km3 of water - area of 244,000 km2 - largest system of fresh, surface water on earth - 18% of world’s fresh water supply Outflows: - less than 1% per year - therefore, pollutants that enter the system are retained in the system o lake superior has least outflow and lake erie has the most How the Great Lakes Were Formed - The Wisconsin Period: o began 70,000 years ago o ice picked up clay, sand, gravel, boulders o As ice moved it shaped the landscape o withdrew 14,000 and 15,000 years ago o massive meltwater = ancestral lakes o clay, sand, gravel and boulders formed hills, ridges and moraines Evolution of the Great Lakes System: - Shape of the lakes has evolved due to: o shape of great lakes is not static (always moving) o Retreat of Glaciers o Topography surrounding the lakes o Gradual tilting of the earth’s crust (major factor since glaciers retreat) Ongoing Evolution of the Great Lakes: - crustal tilting - shore erosion o might have more erosion - climate change o don’t really know impact of climate change - continue to alter the shape and size of the Great Lakes - Lakes are not homogenous o Face many different issues and have different characteristics - Ground water and surface water are connected and people are using ground water Photo 5.6 Welland Canal, a strategic link between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie - Graph that shows pollution of lakes (important) – land use, fisheries and erosion Lake Superior: - world’s largest fresh water lake by area - largest, deepest, and coldest of the Great Lakes - could contain all the other Great Lakes (+ 3 Eries) - cleanest lake - retention time (measure based on volume of water in lake and the mean rate of outflow) = 191 years o rentetniton time = how much water is in lake and how much is moving out o main source of pollution in lake superior is pulp and paper mills - forested, little agriculture - sparse population Lake Michigan: - only lake entirely within the US - 99 year retention time - Northern part is in colder, less developed upper Great Lakes. o sparsely populated except for Green Bay - trying to get closure of river to prevent Asian carp from entering the lake - Green Bay o one of the most productive fisheries in the Great Lakes o world’s largest concentration of pulp and paper mills - Southern portion is in the more temperate part o among the most urbanized areas in the Great Lakes system  very flat so is susceptible to urban sprawl  also they have the canal which is a huge connection to the misissipi and the rest of the states o Contains Milwaukee and Chicago Metropolitan Areas Lake Huron: - includes Georgian Bay - home to 30,000 islands, including Manitoulin Island (largest freshwater island in the world) - receives water flow from Superior AND Michigan - 22 year retention time - characterized by Cottage Country o one side is sandy shores of Lake Huron o the other side is rocky shores of Georgian Bay. - Heavy recreational use - Productive fisheries - Saginaw River Basin is intensively farmed - Flint and Saginaw Bay City Metropolitan Areas Lake Erie - Most impacted by urbanization and farmland - exposed to the greatest effects from urbanization and agriculture o intensively farmed due to fertile soil o Lake Erie basin contains 17 Metropolitan Areas with populations over 50, 000 - home to Point Pelee National Park – Canada’s most southern point on the mainland - shallowest lake -- average depth 19 metres (62 feet) o warms rapidly in the spring and summer o frequently freezes in the winter. - shortest retention time = 2.6 years (Important) Lake Ontario: - slightly smaller than Lake Erie in area, larger in volume - much deeper than Lake Erie - average depth of 86 metres (283 feet) - retention time of 6 years - Niagara Falls on the west and the Thousand Islands on the east - Major industrial areas - Hamilton, Toronto – on the north shore - US (south shore) is less urbanized and not intensively farmed Lecture 2: The Great Lakes PART ONE: Types of Water Pollution Down's Issue Attention Cycle - Tells us why we still have these pollution problems - Five stages: o Preproblem  No one knows about the problem o Alarmed Discovery  Someone discovers something after an illness for example o Realization of Cost  Example oil spill (realize the cost and how to stop it from happening again)  For the great lakes problem… we don’t know how to fix it o Declining Interest o Postproblem  Now we know more about the problem (we have learned something) Non-Persistent Pollutants (the easy ones – the ones we should be able to clean up) - Degradable = Damage is Reversible - Can be broken down by chemical reactions or by natural bacteria into simple, non- polluting substances - Examples: o Domestic sewage o Fertilizer o Some industrial wastes Eutrophication and Oxygen Depletion - biological productivity = the amount of living material supported within a lake o Least Productive = Oligotrophic o Intermediate Productivity = Mesotrophic o Most Productive = Eutrophic o Eutrophicaton = the process of becoming more productive - productivity determined by: o temperature o light o depth o volume o nutrients - Pre-settlement: oligotrophic (before we got here, all great lakes were …) o Naturally they are not very productive - Current conditions: o Temperatures of tributaries increased  We cleared the land which influenced this (allowed for more unlight) o Amount of nutrients increased  Most important factor  Phosphorus is the big nutrient which comes from waste o Sources - Eutrophication: o increase in nutrients = growth of plants o plants die, settle, decomposes o decomposition uses dissolved oxygen  algae uses up all the oxygen not leaving any for anything else (too much algae) - Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD): o depletion of oxygen via decomposition of organic material o some species don’t need oxygen (zebra mussels) Eutrophication and Oxygen Depletion: Lake Erie - shallow, warm & most productive lake - intense agricultural & urban development - 1960s - public concern grew = new pollution laws - 1972 - Canada and the US signed the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (we figured out the problem) o Phosphorus nitrogen and human waste caused the problems o Reduced nitrogen and phosphorus in human products and changed sewage treatment processes (went from primary sewage treatment which is just getting rid of solids to secondary  which was skimming for bacteria as well) Pathogens - Pathogen: A specific causative agent of disease or a morbid condition - waterborne disease o Bacterial o Viral o Parasitic diseases - Chlorine added to drinking water - Also a risk from direct body contact o Ex. There is one ongoing instance with water not being safe enough to drink  Found in aboriginal northern areas (have to boil or drink bottled water)  Found in Kashechewan Ontario o Walkerton had a water problem but they ended up fixing it Dead zone of lake Erie - Oxygen levels are so low that fish suffocate here - Growing again now - Algae is eating up oxygen when it dies increasing the dead zone Persistent Pollutants - Degrade slowly or can’t be broken down at all - Most rapidly growing type - Remain in the environment for years or longer o Added more chemicals recently - Damage is irreversible or reparable over decades or centuries - Pesticides (DDA, dieldrin) - Petroleum and petroleum products - PCBs, dioxins, polyaromatic hydrocarbons - Radioactive materials - Metals – leads, mercury, cadmium Toxic Contaminants - problem since 1940s o one gram of lead makes 25000 L of water fit for undrinking - organic chemical and heavy metals that = acutely toxic in small amounts - injurious through long term exposure in minute concentrations - cancer, birth defects, genetic mutations - Bio-magnification: bioaccumulation of toxic substances as they are passed up the food chain. o Most dangerous to food chain o Accumulate in fatty tissues which is passed from one organism to the next when they eat each other - fish consumption = exposure of humans to toxic substances Other Types of Pollution - Warm water – thermal pollution - Floating debris - Garbage - Foam - Physical pollution which interferes mainly with usability and aesthetics - 1972 - tried to fix non persistent pollutant problems in lake Erie o Has gotten worse now - Have banned persistent pollutants which has only slowed the rate of polluting the lake as you can’t get rid of the existing pollutants o Main cause of fish consumption advisories 1976 Pharmaceuticals - Completely unregulated in terms of what goes into the environment o What your body doesn’t absorb, you pee out Bisphenol A - Chemicals that attach onto other hormone receptors and mess things up o Feminization of fish species example o Have unknown consequences - Movie notes – The disappearing male - Men produce half amount of sperm that their fathers did and 85% of that is abnormal o Sperm counts decreasing in college males - Sperm quality is assessed by o Volume, speed and morphology - Sexual organs of alligators are a third of size and reproduction rate is 90% below average o Due to chemicals in the water - Over 90,000 chemicals (most never tested on humans) o Demand accelerated after second world war o All chemicals were derived from petroleum  Majority of children’s toys are made of petroleum  Common compound used in almost everything is phthalates (including children toys • Used in personal care products (75% of all products have em!) • It looks clean? (check her online note picture) - Children are most threatened to chemicals o Unborns are way more affected and serious (fetuses are defenseless) - Male fetuses are being more miscarried than females o Chemical exposures are killing males in the womb o Drop in number of boys since the 1990’s o Males are going extinct – sad face  - Sarnia: 130,000 tonnes of toxic chemicals released into the environment - Pvc vinyl is in hospitals and in tubes which directly flows into your blood o Hospitals are now replacing them with non-toxic plastic - Bisphenol A: o Raw material for one of the most widely used plastics in society : polycarbonate o Been around for a long time and only recently discovered it - Us government has only banned 5 chemicals since 1975 - Businesses in the chemical industry are lying and saying bishphenal A is harmless when outside tests show 90% of them are harmful - Out of 80,000 chemicals in use, 85% of them have never undergone testing on the human body o Broken regulating system - Ishpehanl a makes things hard Lecture 3: environmental Issues: Ontario and the Great Lakes - Pathways of Pollution - Newest threats: endocrine disruptors (in almost everything we use) o Abnormal low sperm count is being changed  More people are having low sperm counts  Regulated Bisphenol A Atmospheric Deposition: • Toxic chemicals carried long distances in the air/atmosphere – Can carry long distance but will eventually drop the particulate matter • Example China and smog • difficult to control and know where it originates (it is a shared problem as it moves quickly) – can’t say it comes from one place • Examples: – Acid Rain – Smog – Particulate Matter • Contaminated Sediments – Used to be no regulation of dumping in water (ended up in harbors) – Pre-regulation, there was high levels of contamination in sediments – Can be stirred up, resuspended, redistributed • Dredging: used in harbors which moves contaminated sediments • Shipping will disturb contaminated sediments • Storms move them around • Biotic disturbances – animals can disturb it and mix them up – Removal is difficult • Disposal -- appropriate dumping areas? - Us has cleaned up 1.4 million cubic meters and Canada .08 million o We have 60 million left in the us anfd 34.2 in canada Groundwater Movement • Water slowly passes through the ground and picks up dissolved materials that have been buried or soaked into the ground Surface Runoff • Urban and agricultural sources contribute toxins such as salt, asbestos, cadmium, lead, oils and greases – Everything we put on our lawns or ground will eventually end up in the lakes Poi
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