Ground Water as a Silica Source for Diatom Production in a Precipitation-Dominated Lake

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Science  29 Mar 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4694, pp. 1576-1578
DOI: 10.1126/science.227.4694.1576


The short-term, seasonal input of ground water to a small, precipitation-dominated oligotrophic lake in northern Wisconsin amounts to less than 10 percent of the annual water budget of the lake but accounts for nearly all the external silica loading. Silica is a necessary nutrient for diatoms. A large spring diatom bloom occurs coincident with high silica inputs from ground water when other possible silica sources are low. The mass budgets of ground water and silica in the lake system demonstrate the importance of ground-water solute inputs to the lake.