Eutrophication is of interest in the field of water quality. Eutrophic lakes, when used as sources for drinking water, can cause problems during the treatment process, for example algae blooms can clog filters, requiring more water and energy to be used during the cleaning and backwashing of the filters. Excess nutrient loading and eutrophication can also harm fish and aquatic life habitats. Certain species of algae and cyanobacteria can be toxic to humans as well. Since 1998, Dr. A. Woodruff Miller has collected water samples from 46 lakes and ponds in Yellowstone National Park. The Carlson Trophic State Index, the Vollenweider Model, the Larsen Mercier Model, the Burns Trophic Level Index, and the Naumann Trophic Scale were then used to assign each lake or pond to a trophic state classification (Oligotrophic, Mesotrophic, Eutrophic, and Hyper-Eutrophic). Of the 46 total lakes and ponds that have been tested over the past 14 years, five lakes are classified as slightly oligotrophic, implying that the waters are relatively clear and free from nutrient pollution. Of the 46 lakes, 19 are classified as slightly mesotrophic, mesotrophic, or strongly mesotrophic. These classifications imply that the waters are moderately clear and contain some nutrient pollution. Of the 46 lakes, 14 are classified as slightly eutrophic, eutrophic, or strongly eutrophic. This implies that the waters have high turbidity and nutrient content. Of the 46 lakes, 8 are classified as slightly hyper-eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic. These lakes are noticeable for their high algae content with very high nutrient content. These classifications are based on the most recent year sampled.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


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Yellowstone National Park, eutrophication, trophic state