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Technical Report

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Lake Whatcom (Wash.) -- Water quality -- Models, Hydrologic models, Hydrodynamics -- Mathematical models, Water quality -- Washington (State) -- Lake Whatcom


A water quality model of Lake Whatcom, Washington was developed as part of a Total Maximum Daily Load Study for the Washington Department of Ecology. Lake Whatcom is a large natural lake which is listed on the 1998 Washington State 303(d) list of waterbodies which do not meet the criterion for dissolved oxygen. Located next to the city of Bellingham, it is approximately 10 miles long and has a surface area of approximately 5000 acres and a maximum depth of over 100 meters. Eutrophication processes in the lake have been accelerated in recent years perhaps by the availability of nutrients from tributary discharges to the basin. Many of these tributaries have accelerated their nutrient loading to the system as a result of development in the watershed. The lake is being modeled using the Corps of Engineer’s model CE-QUAL-W2, which is a two-dimensional, hydrodynamic and water quality model. The project is managed by the Washington Department of Ecology which plans to make recommendations for reduction and allocation of pollutant loads.

The objectives of this study were then to develop a hydrodynamic and water quality model of Lake Whatcom, calibrate the model to field data collected from February 2002 through December 2003, and use the model to evaluate strategies for water quality improvement.


Technical Report EWR-03-05 is a production of the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Portland State University

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