Upper Mississippi Core Samples Project

In 1929 a system of locks and dams were built in the Upper Mississippi River to maintain a minimum depth of 9 ft. for navigation during the dry season. These locks consequently changed many things including: sediment deposition, dispersal corridors, and the wash out frequency of the resident zooplankton. We are now questioning how much change has occurred, is there more or less change as you move further into backwaters, and how have the populations of zooplankton recovered over time.


Dormant zooplankton eggs from sediment cores can be used to recreate the history of the biological conditions in UMR through the last 100-120 years of hydrologic change Zooplankton abundances will support inferences from geologic analyses of the same cores. *


Core from Upper Lawrence lake were collected and were cut in half to obtain geologic for one half and biological data for the second. For the geological data, magnetic susceptibility was evaluated at every half centimeter. Also, the amount of organic material was measured. Finally, Lead 210 and Cesium 137 were used to date certain cores. The other half of the cores were used to find dormant zooplankton eggs through manual means.


Results can be found on second floor Cowley Hall on the poster titled Upper Mississippi River Floodplain Core Analysis by room 207.

Information for this page was obtained through the poster Upper Mississippi River Floodplain Core Analysis *

*Direct quote from Upper Mississippi Floodplain Core Analysis Authored by Carmen Rivera Perez, Kali Schreiner, and Connor Hutchinson. With Faculty member Dr. Gretchen Gerrish and Dr. Colin Belby. At the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse