Water Quality and the Invasion of the St. Joseph River, Fort Wayne, Indiana, by Cyanobacteria

Document Type

Poster Session

Presentation Date


Conference Name

2014 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting

Conference Location

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Source of Publication

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs

Publication Date






Inclusive pages



Cyanobacteria (formerly blue-green algae) form blooms during warm months and these blooms have an effect on plant, animal and human populations where they occur. In recent years, the St. Joseph River in the northeast Indiana area has been documented to contain these harmful blooms. The need to identify the source(s) of these blooms become necessary as St. Joseph River serves as the main source of water for about a million people that live along the river in northeast Indiana. Four sites were chosen, two urban and two rural in northeastern Indiana, to measure the temperature and pH. Also, water samples were collected for lab analysis for cyanobacteria during the spring. The preliminary results indicate that cyanobacteria were more in rural settings and more so after flood events. There is also a strong positive correlation between the presence of cyanobacteria and pH (r 2 0.75). With warmer temperature, higher counts of these algae are predicted and this will be confirmed as sampling continues during the summer months. A study of the potential sources of these bacteria will also be conducted in order to produce possible controlling methods. This is an ongoing research project, and new data will be presented.


Earth Sciences