Approximately 1000 to 1500 years ago the Mississippi River diverted its flow path to Lake Winnibigoshish. This change had a dramatic effect on lake conditions. Prior to the diversion, due to its large size and its few inputs and outputs, Lake Winnibigoshish was sensitve to evaporation. This is evident in the Sr/Ca ratio, and indicator of evaporative stress. The largest peak in Sr/Ca occurs at 8000 cal yr BP, and there are numerous oscillations in the Sr/Ca ratio that occur on timescales of 20-89 years. This suggests evaporative stress caused the lake level to drop and expose the nearshore lake sediment which eroded to form the large sand dunes on its SE shore. This means that diversion stabilized water levels and salinity. In addition, the new source of inflow induced a change in the nutrient budget.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. October 2015. Major: Geology. Advisor: Howard Mooers. 1 computer file (PDF): v, 210 pages.
Mid-Holocene Record of Lake Level Fluctuations and Episodic Eolian Activity, Lake Winnibigoshish North Central Minnesota.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.