Silver Lake in Oceana County, MI is a 690 acre lake with a maximum historical recorded depth of 22 feet. The lake shoreline is mostly developed, with about one third of the remaining shoreline associated with the Michigan State Park system. A dune formation creates the northwest border of the lake and separates Silver Lake from Lake Michigan. The summer months draw visitors to the lake and sand dune areas for outdoor recreation. As a result, the water resources of Silver Lake are a valued asset to the surrounding community. Therefore, it is important to understand the water quality and hydrology of the area to prevent potential harm to Silver Lake.
With our partners at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), our overall study objectives are to characterize the hydrologic inputs and outputs for Silver Lake to develop a water budget, and characterize potential nutrient sources for Silver Lake to develop a nutrient budget.
The Steinman Lab is specifically researching factors that contribute to algal blooms in Silver Lake using two approaches:
Our project partners at USGS will be conducting a comprehensive study of groundwater influence, water chemistry, and hydrology. These data, along with the results of AWRI's studies, will be used to construct a water budget, nutrient budget, groundwater model, and eutrophication model for Silver Lake. The information can be used by local water managers and stakeholders to implement management practices that best protect Silver Lake from potential negative effects associated with elevated nutrient concentrations. This assessment will also provide information on local and regional hydrology of the Silver Lake watershed in Michigan.
For more information, including real-time data, visit the USGS Silver Lake project website: https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/sir20155158