Investigating Anthropogenic Impacts on the Utah Lake-Jordan River Transition Zone Using a Multi-proxy Approach

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Created: Aug 17, 2017 at 10:51 p.m.
Last updated: Jun 14, 2018 at 9:10 p.m.
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Sediment cores were collected (GPS coordinates taken) at three transects, one at the north end of Utah Lake and two within a kilometer of the Lake on the Jordan River. The cores were sub-sampled at 5 cm resolution for sediment grain size, C and N stable isotope and C/N ratio, and lead-210 analyses. All sampling was standardized. Sampling data is one time data (summer field collection). Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope compositions show a 4 per mil and a 2 per mil positive shift, respectively, as a depth of 55cm. C/N ratios show large variations (9-18) at depths shallower that 55cm, but are more stable (11-14) with greater depth. These results indicate a shift in organic matter sources to Utah Lake at a depth of 55cm, which likely represents the boundary between pre- and post-pioneer settlement in the valley around 1847. At depths greater than 55cm, the major contribution of soil organic matter was likely terrestrial C3 and autochthonous native C4 plants, whereas at depths shallower than 55cm terrestrial vegetation, manure/sewage-derived matter, and lake algae were the major lake organic matter sources. From this information, we approximate the post-settlement sedimentation rate in the lake to be 3.3mm/yr. Students and leads were responsible for data collection, data analysis, and data interpretation of the project.

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Resource Level Coverage


Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:
WGS 84 EPSG:4326
Coordinate Units:
Decimal degrees
Place/Area Name:
Utah Lake, Utah


Start Date:
End Date:



Funding Agencies

This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
Agency Name Award Title Award Number
iUtah (NSF) Research Catalyst Grant 2013 1208732

How to Cite

Walther, S., W. Wang (2018). Investigating Anthropogenic Impacts on the Utah Lake-Jordan River Transition Zone Using a Multi-proxy Approach, HydroShare,

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.


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