Water Quality Modeling

The environmental engineers at GLEC bring a broad range of expertise in water resource modeling expertise to help solve complex water quality problems in surface water and groundwater systems.    GLEC’s approach to assessing the sources, transport and fate of chemicals in aquatic ecosystems is based upon integrating research, data collection and modeling. GLEC has developed both simple and complex models used to address water quality problems in the Great Lakes, their embayments and tributaries, as well as the New York / New Jersey Harbor area. We are nationally recognized for our expertise in modeling the transport, transformation and fate of high-priority chemicals including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins/furans (PCDDs/PCDFs).  GLEC researchers are experienced in the validation, development and application of mathematical models for many water quality applications involving hydrodynamic and sediment transport, eutrophication, partitioning, air/water exchange, transformation, and bioaccumulation processes.  GLEC has advanced modeling approaches to support TMDL development and USEPA’s ambient water quality criteria (AWQC), including Biotic Ligand Model and bioaccumulation prediction methodologies. Notable projects led by GLEC’s environmental engineers include:


  • Design and implementation of a large-watershed mass balance model to assess nutrient loadings into Lake Erie and the Ohio River.

  • Application of the MICHTOX model as a tool to rapidly assess Lake Michigan Mass Balance Study data for PCBs.

  • Development of a receiving water hydrodynamic/water quality model to track the fate of the pathogen indicators in the New York / New Jersey Harbor.

  • Modeling current and future conditions of impairment parameters affected by combined sewer overflowsfor a Long-Term Control Plan for New York Harbor.

  • Development of a system-wide three-dimensional time-variable coupled hydrodynamic/ water quality model of the eutrophication and hypoxia/anoxia processes present in New York/New Jersey Harbor.
Great Lakes Environmental Center

739 Hastings Street
Traverse City, MI   49686

Phone: (231) 941-2230
Fax: (231) 941-2240