Sensitivity indices, which rank factors pertinent to surface and subsurface runoff pathways, were used to identify phosphorus source areas in riparian zones of 15 northern Minnesota lakes. Watershed models were first developed using a geographic information system (GIS). Empirical models were then developed correlating water quality with land use, lake morphometry, and riparian sensitivity. Base models of forested, cultivated, pasture/open, wetland and residential land use within 100, 200, 400, and 2000 m of the study lakes were regressed on total phosphorus and chlorophyll-a. Area-weighted groundwater and surface runoff sensitivity indices were then incorporated into each model and tested for significance. Within the 200-m buffer, the total phosphorus base model was improved by including the groundwater index alone. The chlorophyll-a base model at 200 m was improved by including: (1) the groundwater index alone, and (2) both the groundwater and surface runoff sensitivity indices. Results suggest that surface and subsurface runoff analysis of potential source areas can improve decision making for lake riparian management.
- Geographic information systems
- Groundwater sensitivity index
- Lake management
- Runoff sensitivity index