The Spatiotemporal Distribution of Water Quality at Bluff Lake

Sarah Szafranski, 2024, Math and Environmental Science, Spatial Studies Minor

The ever-looming threat of anthropogenic interference threatens reservoirs around the world. Bluff Lake, located in the Transverse Ranges of Southern California, is particularly susceptible to these dangers. This study assesses the water quality of Bluff Lake and investigates whether it displays a spatiotemporal pattern. Over a six-month period, DO, conductivity, temperature, pH, nitrate, phosphate, alkalinity, and location were collected at eight points around the lake. During multiple months, positive correlations between location (distance from inflow) and nitrate, phosphate, and pH were found. Throughout the months, both nutrients and pH fluctuated. Thus, there appears to be both a spatial and temporal influence on the studied variables. This indicates that while the lake can buffer its waters and protect the meadow system around it, it is vulnerable to anthropogenic inputs. Understanding these dynamics is essential to preserving small lake ecosystems and the meadows they support.