New paper assesses phosphorus retention by Fanshawe Dam on the Thames River, Ontario

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Phosphorus (P) retention in Fanshawe Reservoir was evaluated based on a two-year intensive sampling of water chemistry. The Fanshawe Dam is located on the Thames River, the largest Canadian tributary source of P to the western basin of Lake Erie.  The results indicate that Fanshawe Reservoir reduces the total river P load by as much as 47%. The reservoir, however, is not only an important P sink on the Thames River, but also modulates the seasonal variability and chemical speciation of the river’s P load. This opens the possibility of optimizing the operation of existing dams to help attenuate downstream P loads to sensitive water bodies. The paper is published in the Journal of Great Lakes Research, with Nady Kao, a former ERG MSc. student, as the first author. Co-authors include ERG members Amanda Niederkorn, Philippe Van Cappellen and Chris Parsons. The open access paper can be found here.

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