Remediation of Contaminated Sediments in the Laurentian Great Lakes

  • Michael A. Zarull
  • Alena Mudroch
Part of the Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology book series (RECT, volume 132)


The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River system (Laurentian Great Lakes) extends more than 3200 km inland from the Atlantic Ocean to almost the midpoint of the North American continent. The basic character of the Great Lakes was established during the last glacial retreat in North America, some 10–12 thousand years ago (Hough 1958). There are five large lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario) drained through interconnecting channels or rivers (St. Marys River, the Straits of Mackinac, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, the Niagara River, and the St. Lawrence River). Combined, this complex has a total surface water area of 246,000 km2, volume of 23,000 km3, and total basin area (land and water) of 774,000 km2. These lakes represent one of the largest bodies of freshwater on Earth, containing approximately 18% of the world’s surface-flowing freshwater. The U.S.-Canada border bisects four of the lakes; however, Lake Michigan is located wholly in the U.S. (Fig. 1).


Great Lake Surficial Sediment Laurentian Great Lake Dredge Sediment Great Lake Basin 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Zarull
    • 1
  • Alena Mudroch
    • 1
  1. 1.Lakes Research Branch, National Water Research InstituteCanada Centre for Inland WatersBurlingtonCanada

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