This page has been archived on the Web
Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.
The Great Lakes Sediment Database (also know as the NWRI Sediment Archive) is an archive of data on the sediments of the Great Lakes, their connecting channels, and the St. Lawrence River which was collected by NWRI and in cooperation with other agencies between 1968 and 2001. It is housed in Environment Canada's National Water Research Institute in the Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington, Ontario.
The data has been subdivided into four groups according to location and purpose:
1. Contaminated Sediments Data: sediment, acoustic and underwater-television data for contaminated-sediment sites including Hamilton Harbour, the Bay of Quinte, the St. Lawrence River at Cornwall, the Detroit River, the St. Clair River at Sarnia, the St. Mary's River at Sault Ste. Marie, and the Grand River in Michigan. Samples and cores were collected at these sites and the bottom types and bathymetry were mapped with acoustic surveys (RoxAnn acoustic classification) and underwater television.
Contaminated, surface-sediment sample from the St. Lawrence River bed at Cornwall, Ontario.
2. Great Lakes Basin Sediment Data: physical and geochemical data for sediment samples and cores collected lakewide in lakes Ontario, Erie, St. Clair, Huron (including Georgian Bay), Michigan and Superior between 1968 and 1975 by R.L. Thomas, A.L.W. Kemp and C.F.M. Lewis of NWRI. The data includes descriptions of sediment and core properties, grain-size statistics and sediment geochemistry.
3. Miscellaneous Studies Data: sediment, acoustic and underwater-television surveys for a number of sites and supporting a variety of objectives. Samples, cores and, in some cases, acoustic-bottom-classification and bathymetric data were collected at Darlington, Oshawa, Toronto, Port Dalhousie, eastern Lake Erie, northern Lake Michigan, Lake St. Clair, the nearshore zones of eastern and western Lake Ontario, and Lac St-Louis and Lac St-Pierre in the St. Lawrence River.
Acoustic mapping of Lake Ontario sediments at Oshawa, Ontario.
4. Nearshore Sediments Data: physical data for samples and cores, bathymetry, and sediment thickness collected in the Canadian nearshore zone of lakes Ontario, Erie, St. Clair, Huron and Georgian Bay between 1968 and 1975. The data includes descriptions of sediment and core properties, grain-size statistics, sediment patterns and x-radiographs of sediment cores. Underwater photographs are also available for Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.
Underwater photo typical of the lakebed in the Lake Huron nearshore zone.
The data for all four groups is in the form of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets with information on collection dates, data sites, water depths, and sediment properties and descriptions. ArcView GIS has been used to map the data sites, the site bathymetry, and the patterns of sediment properties. Some of the surface-sediment and core samples from the above sites have been preserved in a sediment-sample archive. The archive now consists of 7500 samples and comprises surface-sediment samples from western Lake Ontario and the Lake Ontario basin, Darlington, Oshawa, Toronto, Sarnia and Lac St-Louis; core samples from Lake St. Clair; and both surface-sediment and core samples from Hamilton Harbour, Cornwall and Lac St-Pierre.
Acoustic mapping of sediments: sites and applications. Sites: 1. Cornwall, ON; 2. Messina, NY; 3. Bay of Quinte; 4. East Lake Ontario; 5. Lake Ontario Basin; 6. Darlington, ON; 7. Oshawa, ON; 8. Toronto, ON; 9. Hamilton Harbour; 10. Port Dalhousie, ON ; 11. Eastern Lake Erie ; 12. Detroit River ; 13. Sarnia, ON ; 14. Grand River, MI ; 15. North Lake Michigan ; 16. Sault Ste. Marie, ON.
The database was prepared to preserve historic and current sediment data and make it available for research, remediation, lake and shoreline management, habitat studies and engineering projects. Because the basin and nearshore surveys were the first systematic and detailed surveys of both zones, their data should also be useful for studies of trends in physical properties, sediment transport, and contamination or trophic levels. The sediment-sample archive serves the same purpose by making historic samples available for analysis of changes in composition or geotechnical properties.
The database was produced by Dr. Norm Rukavina, formerly of NWRI, as an archive of his own sediment data and that of some of his colleagues and associates. Marilyn Dunnett was responsible for the editing of the data and its quality control, and Chris Prokopec for the organization of the database, its metadata description, and the preparation of ArcView maps.
Hans Biberhofer is responsible for maintenance of the database and for answering requests for access to its files. Tel: 905-336-4512, email: GLdata@ec.gc.ca
Dr. Chris Marvin is responsible for the sediment-sample archive. Tel: (905) 319-6919
- Date modified: