Cedar Lake Feasibility Study

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Chicago District is performing a feasibility study to evaluate the implementation of aquatic ecosystem restoration measures within Cedar Lake, located in Northwest Indiana. This glacial lake experiences periodic resuspension of bottom sediments due to the hydrodynamic shear stresses generated by wind and boat activity. An associated release of phosphorus from the resuspended bottom sediments is thought to be the principle contributor to water quality degradation in the lake.

As part of a feasibility study, SEI and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) developed a model of sediment and contaminant transport within the lake to evaluate the effectiveness of potential ecosystem restoration measures. SEI personnel led the water quality modeling team and developed a state-of-the-art 3-dimensional hydrodynamic and sediment transport models to investigate the effects of wave driven sediment and contaminant transport in the lake on harmful algal blooms. The model was successfully used to evaluate the restoration measures and propose a cost effective sediment removal measure that will significantly improve water quality.