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What's causing the declining head difference?



Details
The International Joint Commission’s Directive to the Study Board required an examination of the physical processes and possible ongoing changes in the St. Clair River and the effects of such changes on levels of Lake Michigan-Huron. The Study addressed the question of whether natural and/or human-caused changes in the St. Clair River (after the last major channel enlargement that ended in 1962) have changed the river’s conveyance (or water-carrying capacity), and what effects, if any, such a change may have had on the water levels of Lake Michigan-Huron, Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair. Beyond the question of the St. Clair River’s conveyance, other natural and human factors can affect the upper Great Lakes water levels. Considering the number of factors related to St. Clair River conveyance and upper Great Lakes water balance, the Study Board decided to address St. Clair River conveyance issues from several distinct but interrelated perspectives: - sediment (morphology), which examined the sediment processes in the St. Clair River to determine whether the river bed is eroding or stable; - hydraulic, which focused on understanding the relationships between levels and flows for the St. Clair River, how changes in the river bed (e.g., changes to its geometry, scouring, deposition and roughness) have affected conveyance, and its effects on upper Great Lakes water balance; - glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), since over the course of the Study, data analysis of the effects of GIA on the water levels of the upper Great Lakes basin suggested that the question of GIA and its implications for St. Clair River conveyance and water balance calculations needed to be addressed separately, though the issue remains closely linked to both the hydraulic and hydroclimatic analyses; - hydroclimatic, which examined the components in the water balance – precipitation, evaporation, runoff and other factors – to determine how they affect water levels and flows and what portion of the change in head differences between Lake Michigan-Huron and Lake Erie can be explained through changes in NBS.
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St. Clair Gauge Relationships and Erie Water Balance Study
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