The Great Lakes: Foundations of physics, hydrology, water chemistry, and biodiversity

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Book Chapter

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These perspectives on a sustainable future for the Great Lakes evolve from the premise that an ethic supporting that objective is already in place. Given that ethic, the authors work toward the development of a scientific foundation that can guide management decisions and the development and implementation of novel technologies in support of those decisions. They begin with a look at the geological evolution of the Great Lakes basin, an expression of environmental determinism. The authors then review the hydrology of the Great Lakes and introduce selected features of lake physics, chemistry, and biology that govern ecosystem structure and function. Here, and in the following chapter, they seek to emphasize two key points: (1) that nature should be looked for help in differentiating sustainable and unsustainable practices before the fact and (2) that it is critical that the awareness of those things that ‘we don't know we don't know’ about the response of the Great Lakes to human perturbation be increased. Adoption of an outlook that embraces an ethic, sensitivity, and understanding represents an excellent start to ensuring a sustainable future for these Great Lakes.

Publisher's Statement

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Publisher's version of record: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-382182-9.00092-X

Publication Title

Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences