US Long-Term Ecological Research Network
Long-term hydrologic and biogeochemical responses of a soft water seepage lake in north central Wisconsin
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Hydrologic and chemical budgets were determined for the period October 1980 through September 1988 for Vandercook Lake, a 43-ha soft water seepage lake located in predominantly sandy outwash in northern Wisconsin. The 1951–1980 mean annual precipitation for the lake, based on nearby National Weather Service (NWS) stations, was 825 mm; volume-weighted pH of bulk atmospheric deposition during the 8-year study averaged 4.7. From October 1980 through September 1983, annual precipitation was 108\% of the 30-year NWS average, annual recharge was 144\% of the 8-year study period average, and annual groundwater inflow to the lake ranged from 5 to 9\% of the total inflow. From October 1986 through September 1988, annual precipitation was 90\% of the NWS average, annual recharge was 30\% of the study period average, and the lake received no groundwater inflow. During the study, the lake changed from a system whose buffering mechanism was significantly influenced by mineral weathering in inflowing groundwater to one dominated by in-lake sulfate reduction. The functional differences exhibited by this lake during the 8 years of study demonstrate the tenuousness with which conclusions based on shorter-term studies of similar systems must be considered.