Tag Archives: water

Congratulations to the World Water Day Poster Award Winners

World Water Day was celebrated at Michigan Tech University during the week of March 20 with this year’s theme being “Wastewater.”  There were many activities held throughout the week including a student poster competition. Congratulations to the 2017 World Water Day poster award winners!

Original Research – Based on student’s thesis work

1st Place:  “High-Tech Analysis of Low-Cost, Low-Tech Methods for Sustainable Class A Biosolids Production:  Set Up and Initial Pilot-Scale Data”

  • Christa Meingast
    co-authors: Jennifer Becker and Eric Seagren

2nd Place: “Drought Forecast Modeling and Assessment of Hydrologic Impacts of Climate Change on Lower Colorado River”

  • Mohammad Samady
    co-author: David Watkins

3rd Place: “Factors Affecting Fish Mercury Concentration in Inland Lakes”

  • Mudgha Priyadarshini
    co-authors: Noel Urban, Ashley Hendricks and Wabanungoquay Alakayak

Coursework/Informational – Based on coursework or literature-based research

1st Place: “Reducing Sewer Corrosion Through Holistic Urban Water Management”

  • Noah Bednar, Bruce Carlstrom, Grace Kluchka and Michelle Nitz

2nd Place: “Regulations & Their Role in Human & Environmental Risk Management: Microplastics in the Great Lakes”

  • Michael Candler, Emily Shaw, Nicole Wehner and Bradley Wells

3rd Place: “Using the Four R’s in the Design of De Facto Potable Reuse Water for Enhanced Public Health”

  • Kyle Hillstead, Anya Leach, Juli Mickle and Caryn Murray


Seminar: The Enigmatic Biscayne Aquifer

IMG_18352Friday, July 10, 11 AM – Noon; GLRC 202

The Enigmatic Biscayne Aquifer

Michael Sukop, PhD, PG, CHg; Professor, Florida Climate Institute Executive Board Member and liaison to Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact; Lead Principal Investigator South Florida Water, Sustainability, and Climate Project; Florida International University, Miami FL


The karstic Biscayne Aquifer is an eastward-thickening wedge of limestone that serves as a designated sole-source aquifer for 5.5 million people. Its karst is eogenetic (formed during early burial) and in many cases characterized by thick and laterally extensive zones of touching-vug porosity from burrowing shrimp. The vugs are commonly about 2 cm in diameter and the porosity is commonly 50% or more, leading to very high permeability. Given its importance, the Biscayne Aquifer may be the best-studied aquifer of such high permeability, but consistent values of its hydraulic conductivity (K) have been elusive.

Our work has approached this problem with numerous methods and over a broad range of scales, including

● detailed Lattice Boltzmann Models (LBM) at pore scale,
● LBM and laboratory measurements at core scale,
● high-resolution borehole scale geostatistical and flow modeling based on borehole images,
● borehole scale slug testing, and
● aquifer test meta-analysis

Results indicate that there are systematic variations of 5 orders of magnitude in typical maximum K values obtained from these different techniques. Naturally, some of this is due to real variations in the physical samples tested, but the method used is the principal source of variation.

Frequently overlooked limitations of laboratory permeability measurements of core samples truncate the distribution of core K values. Slug tests in appropriately-constructed wells are generally underdamped and appear to underestimate K in this aquifer (returning maximum results comparable to those of a sand aquifer), possibly due to the Darcian flow assumption that underlies the available analyses methods for such tests. Aquifer tests are difficult to conduct in this aquifer and are often inconclusive.

LBM applied at numerous scales tend to converge and agree with simple pipe flow expectations and specialized laboratory measurements on a 0.1 m diameter core. LBM K results at small scale are consistent with LBM K from 2.72 m3-volume scale explicit pore/solid aquifer models based on novel geostatistical extrapolation of borehole optical images.


Mapping the Great Lakes’ Wetlands

image119918-horizFluorescent bands of color outline the Great Lakes on a new, comprehensive map of the region’s coastal wetlands. This publicly available map is the first of its kind on such a broad scale — and the only one to trump political boundaries. Both Canadian and US wetlands are shown along more than 10,000 miles of shoreline.

The Great Lakes is an important focus of Michigan Technological University research. The coastal wetlands map is an extension of that focus, expanding on previous maps created through the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI).

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Recent Seminars at Great Lakes Research Center

A series of Center for Water & Society Seminars took place in September. Dr. Ellen Spears, Environmental Historian; University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; Topic: “Circulating Toxics: PCBs and the Campaign for Toxic Chemical Policy Reform” at the Great Lakes Research Center and a second seminar was presented with the Topic: “Toxic Knowledge: Race, Pollution, and Social Movements for Environmental Justice”
CWS is a co-sponsor of this visit, along with Social Sciences and the Visiting Women & Minority Lecture Series

Dr. Ellen Spears, Environmental Historian ; University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
Dr. Ellen Spears, Environmental Historian ; University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Dr. Celia Chen, Research Professor, Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, gave a seminar with the topic “Factors Controlling Mercury Fate in Aquatic Food Webs”
The Center for Water & Society was a co-sponsor of this visit, along with Biological Sciences and the Visiting Women & Minority Lecture Series (VWMLS) funded by the President’s Office and a grant to the Office of Institutional Equity from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.
Dr. Colleen Mouw of Michigan Tech and Dr. Celia Chen, Research Professor; Biological Sciences, Dartmouth
Dr. Colleen Mouw of Michigan Tech and Dr. Celia Chen, Research Professor; Biological Sciences, Dartmouth