Remote Sensing of Turbidity Plumes in Lake Ontario

by Edward J. Pluhowski, Hydro.; U.S.Geological Survey, Reston, Va.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 3, Pg. 475-488

Document Type: Journal Paper


Space imagery and high-altitude photography provide an effective method of monitoring the dynamics of turbidity plumes in Lake Ontario. The Niagara River plume, as much as 200 sq miles (520 km²) in area, is by far the largest turbidity feature in the lake. Plume analyses corroborates the presence of a prevailing eastward flowing longshore current along the entire south shore of the lake. This current is most persistent at the Oswego River outlet but it is quite variable in the Rochester embayment, where rapid shifts in water movement were occasionally detected. The position of the spring thermal bar, a zone of maximum density water corresponding to the 4°C isotherm, was located near the Niagara River outlet in images obtained during April, 1973.

Subject Headings: Plumes | Lakes | Remote sensing | Turbidity | Photography | Littoral drift | Shores | Thermal effects | Lake Ontario | Great Lakes

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