Abiotic Changes Within a Reservoir After a Complete Drawdown: A Case Study of Lake Griffy

Main Article Content

Gregory P. Welage


Aquatic ecosystems are created and dictated by their physical and chemical environment; when catastrophic events cause an ecosystem shift, such as the draining and refilling of a reservoir, the composition and quality of the ecosystem state can change based on the new physical and chemical environment. This research project examines the physical and chemical limnological changes in Griffy Lake, Bloomington, IN, after the complete drawdown of water for the purpose of dam reconstruction. After two years of sediment oxidation and terrestrial plant growth, the reservoir naturally refilled. The study summarizes recovery results from data collected on a monthly basis. The results focus on the variables of temperature, dissolved oxygen, alkalinity, pH, specific conductance, and nutrient concentrations. After analysis of the data, this project will allow for better understanding of the effects of complete drawdowns on abiotic variables. The work presented is part of a larger project that will examine how aquatic ecosystems recover and ecosystem states may shift within reservoirs after complete drawdowns. With more than 75,000 dams across the United States, many of which are approaching the end of their life spans, in the near future it is important to understand how such events affect the quality of the water, in addition to aquatic ecosystems. 


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Welage, G. P. (2015). Abiotic Changes Within a Reservoir After a Complete Drawdown: A Case Study of Lake Griffy. IU Journal of Undergraduate Research, 1(1), 24–33. https://doi.org/10.14434/iujur.v1i1.13716
Natural Sciences


De Groot, C. J., & Van Wijck, C. (1993). The impact of desiccation of a freshwater marsh (Garcines Nord, Camargue, France) on sediment-water-vegetation interactions. Hydrobiologia, 252(1), 83-94. doi: 10.1007/BF00000130

Holdren, C., Jones, W., & Taggart, J. (2001). Managing lakes and reservoirs. North American Lake Management Society and the Terrene Institute, in coop. with Office of Water, Assessment and Watershed Protection Division. Madison, WI: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

James, W.F., Barko, J.W., Eakin, H.L., & Helsel, D.R. (2001). Changes in sediment characteristics following drawdown of Big Muskego Lake, Wisconsin. Archiv für Hydrobiologie, 151(3), 459-474. doi:

Klotz, R.L., & Linn, S.A. (2001). Influence of factors associated with water level drawdown on phosphorus release from sediments. Lake and Reservoir Management, 17(1), 48-54. doi: 10.1080/07438140109353972

Peel, S. (2008). Griffy Lake Nature Preserve master plan. JF New. Walkerton, IN, p. 1.

Rice, E.W., Baird, R.B., Eaton, A.D., & Clesceri, L.S. (Eds.). (2005). Standard methods for examination of water and wastewater.Washington, D.C.: American Public Health Association.

Wetzl, R.G. (2001). Limnology: Lake and river ecosystems. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.