Over the past 20 years, a significant effort has been made to further the goal of restoring or naturalizing the Illinois River. Central to this effort has been the development of strategies designed to address the excessive sedimentation that continues to occur today in the Illinois River and associated backwater lakes. When addressing accumulated sediments, dredging has been the most common recommendation as a means of achieving depth diversity necessary to provide adequate habitats for desired aquatic species and maintain connectivity between backwater lakes and the main stem of the Illinois River. A significant impediment to the planning process has been the limited amount of information on the physical and chemical composition of sediments found in the Illinois River and its associated backwaters. In addition, data collected to date have not been readily available to researchers and land managers. This report describes the methodologies used in initial efforts to collect and analyze sediment cores to characterize the sediments of the middle Illinois River and describes a database and user interface developed to facilitate the dissemination of these data. This database contains information on the chemical and physical properties of sediments collected from 102 deep sediment cores. In addition to more than 37,000 analytical and descriptive results, information describing the time, location, and physical attributes of each sediment core is available in the database, along with more than 700 photographs of split sediment cores.
|ISWS Contract Report