University of Wisconsin Eau Claire


West shore of Half Moon Lake, Eau Claire, WI


There are two abstracts on this page. The first abstract is the proposal written by the professors in anticipation of this study. The second abstract concerns the website itself and the current study as it unfolds.


Abstract (Original Study Proposal)

Half Moon Lake has, for many decades, suffered from excessive growth of aquatic plants due to high levels of phosphorus in the water column. Recent research has shown that cycling of phosphorus from sediments on the lake bed is the primary cause of the lake’s eutrophic condition. Resource managers concerned with rehabilitating the lake assume the phosphorus-rich sediment consists largely of decaying organic material that accumulated when the lake was an important center of Eau Claire’s lumber industry. Virtually nothing is known about where or how much organic sediment is in the lake. For this study, we propose research that will link the existence of organic sediment in Half Moon Lake to the history of the lumber industry on its shores. Specifically, we propose using a boat-mounted ground penetrating radar system to determine the quantity and spatial distribution of organic sediment in the lake. We hypothesize that the greatest amounts of organic sediment should be found near the sites of lumber mills that once stood on the lake’s shores. To test this hypothesis, we will develop a historical geography of milling on the lake which will entail identifying the location of all former mills and reconstructing their history of operation. We will then compare this information to a detailed isopach (or thickness) map of organic sediment produced from our GPR data to assess the validity of our hypothesis.

-Professor Douglas Faulkner

- Professor Harry Jol


Abstract (Of website)

The UWEC Half Moon Lake Study website presents the 2005 methodology and problems, both anticipated and unanticipated, of bathymetric and ground penetrating radar (GPR) studies of Half Moon Lake along with relevant photographs of the physical assets deployed as used in the study. It also presents current conditions and historical information relevant to past use and abuse of the lake. 'Gems' of imagery and annecdotal information that may be tangential to the study but which make the website more appealing to the general public will also be considered for inclusion. The website is chartered to go with the flow of whatever happens and to report it.

- Neil Trombly

- Craig Sternberg

(Neil Trombly and Craig Sternberg are both Seniors and Geography majors at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire.)

Last revised June 27, 2005

A website report by Craig Sternberg and Neil Trombly based on the faculty-student UWEC study of Half Moon Lake under the direction of Professor Douglas Faulkner and Professor Harry Jol.