A chloride budget for Onondaga Lake, New York, U.S.A.

Steven W. Effler, Charles T. Driscoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


A Cl budget is presented for a 12 yr period (1970-1981) for Cl enriched (approximate volume-weighted average concentration of 1500 mg Cl L-1) Onondaga Lake, New York. The budget utilizes continuous discharge and lake and stream water chemistry data, collected at an interval of approximately 2 weeks, over the 12 yr study period. Budget calculations are supplemented by high frequency water chemistry data from the lake and the tributary carrying the major portion of the loading. More than 85% of the external load of Cl (approximately 9 × 108 kg yr-1) to the lake originates from an alkali manufacturer. Export of Cl from the lake was highly correlated to outflow from the lake (R = 0.915, for a resolution of 1 mo). A good balance between estimated external loads and lake export was obtained (within 7%) for the 12 yr period, indicating that lake concentrations are consistent with external loading of this conservative substance. The results of this analysis contradict previous calculations that indicated 40 to 50% of the Cl in the lake originated from natural internal sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-44
Number of pages16
JournalWater, Air, & Soil Pollution
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution


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