Abstract

Movements of the earth's crust causing progressive changes in the levels of large bodies of water relative to their shorelines may influence the formulation of water resource projects and/or their continuing effectiveness with time. In the Great Lakes basin there is evidence of an uplift of the earth's crust, of about 1 ft per 100 y, in the northeasterly part of the basin relative to that in the southwest. This results in a corresponding lowering of water levels along the northeasterly shorelines and a rise in water levels along the southwest shores. In at least two of the lakes, Lake Huron and Lake Ontario, the average depth of water will change with time. In Lake Huron, it will gradually decrease because the bed underlying the lake is rising with respect to the lake outlet. In Lake Ontario, the depth of water will increase since the lake outlet is rising with respect to the remainder of the lake. This paper reviews some of the engineering implications of the relative rates of crustal movement in the Great Lakes region on long-term management of the water levels of the Great Lakes.

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