The Impact of a Rapidly Growing Community on Surface Water Quality: a Study of Branson, Missouri and Lake Taneycomo in Southwestern Missouri

Date of Graduation

Summer 1993


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Charles Rovey II


This study monitors the water and sediment quality of Lake Taneycomo in southwestern Missouri, Ozarks region. The lake is partially bordered to the north by the rapidly growing tourism community of Branson, Missouri. The source water is primarily from Table Rock Lake, which is located west of Lake Taneycomo. The water quality was determined by analyzing the following parameters: temperature, pH, conductivity, nitrates, chlorides, fecal coliform, cadmium, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, lead, and zinc. Sediment quality was determined by a study of the above metals. Results show that a known point source of copper caused a trend of metal quantities that would enable researchers to locate an emission source. Various parameters revealed consistently higher concentrations of nitrates, coliform and conductivity at sample site eight (the mouth of a drainage ditch), although no clear trends appeared. Volume of water had no detectable effect on the level of heavy metals found in the sediments. Regression analysis showed no definite positive correlation between most metals. Therefore there is no evidence of a single major point source for all variables except copper.

Subject Categories

Earth Sciences


© Charles E Meyers