Meghan K. Carr


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The impacts of changing climate and streamflow on nutrient speciation in a large Prairie reservoir
Eric Akomeah, L. A. Morales-Marín, Meghan K. Carr, Amir Sadeghian, Karl–Erich Lindenschmidt
Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 288

Climate mediated warming water temperature, drought and extreme flooding are projected to shift the phenology of nutrients in receiving lakes and reservoirs further intensifying eutrophication and algal blooms, especially in temperate reservoirs. An emerging issue in reservoir management is the prediction of climate change impacts, a necessity for sound decision making and sustainable management. Lake Diefenbaker is a large multipurpose reservoir in the Canadian Prairies. In this study, the impact of climate change on nutrient speciation in Lake Diefenbaker is examined using loosely linked SpAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) and CE-QUAL-W2 models. Two climate mediated scenarios, RCP 8.5 representing the most extreme climate change, and climate induced streamflow were modelled. Nutrient levels are anticipated to double under the climate change and streamflow scenarios. Winter and spring were identified as hot moments for nitrogen pollution with a plausible saturation of nitrous oxides in the future. Of concern is a plausible recycling of nitrate through dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium. Summer and fall on the other hand represent the period for phosphorus enrichment and internal loading with a probable succession of cyanobacteria in the summer. • Nutrient cycling in a large reservoir is investigated under two climate mediated scenarios. • Two loosely coupled models are forced with projected climate and streamflow changes. • Nitrogen pollution is projected to worsen during winter and spring during the 2040 decade. • Reservoir internal loading is anticipated to accelerate during the intermediate decade.


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Impacts of Varying Dam Outflow Elevations on Water Temperature, Dissolved Oxygen, and Nutrient Distributions in a Large Prairie Reservoir
Meghan K. Carr, Amir Sadeghian, Karl–Erich Lindenschmidt, Karsten Rinke, L. A. Morales-Marín
Environmental Engineering Science, Volume 37, Issue 1

Dam operations are known to have significant impacts on reservoir hydrodynamics and solute transport processes. The Gardiner Dam, one of the structures that forms the Lake Diefenbaker reservoir located in the Canadian Prairies, is managed for hydropower generation and agricultural irrigation and is known to have widely altering temperature regimes and nutrient circulations. This study applies the hydrodynamic and nutrient CE-QUAL-W2 model to explore how various withdrawal depths (5, 15, 25, 35, 45, and 55 m) influence the concentrations and distribution of nutrients, temperature, and dissolved oxygen (DO) within the Lake Diefenbaker reservoir. As expected, the highest dissolved nutrient (phosphate, PO43--P and nitrate, NO3--N ) concentrations were associated with hypoxic depth horizons in both studied years. During summer high flow period spillway operations impact the distribution of nutrients, water temperatures, and DO as increased epilimnion flow velocities route the incoming water through the surface of the reservoir and reduce mixing and surface warming. This reduces reservoir concentrations but can lead to increased outflow nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations. Lower withdrawal elevations pull warmer surface water deeper within the reservoir and decrease reservoir DO during summer stratification. During fall turnover low outflow elevations increase water column mixing and draws warmer water deeper, leading to slightly higher temperatures and nutrient concentrations than shallow withdrawal elevations. The 15 m depth (540 m above sea level) outflow generally provided the best compromise for overall reservoir and outflow nutrient reduction.


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Vanadium and thallium exhibit biodilution in a northern river food web
Timothy D. Jardine, Lorne E. Doig, Paul D. Jones, Lalita Bharadwaj, Meghan K. Carr, Brett Tendler, Karl–Erich Lindenschmidt
Chemosphere, Volume 233

Trophic transfer of contaminants dictates concentrations and potential toxic effects in top predators, yet biomagnification behaviour of many trace elements is poorly understood. We examined concentrations of vanadium and thallium, two globally-distributed and anthropogenically-enriched elements, in a food web of the Slave River, Northwest Territories, Canada. We found that tissue concentrations of both elements declined with increasing trophic position as measured by δ15N. Slopes of log [element] versus δ15N regressions were both negative, with a steeper slope for V (-0.369) compared with Tl (-0.099). These slopes correspond to declines of 94% with each step in the food chain for V and 54% with each step in the food chain for Tl. This biodilution behaviour for both elements meant that concentrations in fish were well below values considered to be of concern for the health of fish-eating consumers. Further study of these elements in food webs is needed to allow a fuller understanding of biomagnification patterns across a range of species and systems.

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CE-QUAL-W2 model of dam outflow elevation impact on temperature, dissolved oxygen and nutrients in a reservoir
Karl–Erich Lindenschmidt, Meghan K. Carr, Amir Sadeghian, L. A. Morales-Marín
Scientific Data, Volume 6, Issue 1

Abstract Dams are typically designed to serve as flood protection, provide water for irrigation, human and animal consumption, and harness hydropower. Despite these benefits, dam operations can have adverse effects on in-reservoir and downstream water temperature regimes, biogeochemical cycling and aquatic ecosystems. We present a water quality dataset of water withdrawal scenarios generated after implementing the 2D hydrodynamic and water quality model, CE-QUAL-W2. The scenarios explore how six water extraction scenarios, starting at 5 m above the reservoir bottom at the dam and increasing upward at 10 m intervals to 55 m, influence water quality in Lake Diefenbaker reservoir, Saskatchewan, Canada. The model simulates daily water temperature, dissolved oxygen, total phosphorus, phosphate as phosphorus, labile phosphorus, total nitrogen, nitrate as nitrogen, labile nitrogen, and ammonium at 87 horizontal segments and at 60 water depths during the 2011–2013 period. This dataset intends to facilitate a broader investigation of in-reservoir nutrient dynamics under dam operations, and to extend the understanding of reservoir nutrient dynamics globally.