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Glossary

Adapted from the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study

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CHART DATUM - The water level used to calculate the water depths that are shown on "navigation charts" and are a reference point for harbour and channel dredging.

CLIMATE - The prevalent weather conditions of a given region (temperature, precipitation, windspeed, atmospheric pressure, etc.) observed throughout the year and averaged over a number of years.

COAST - The land or zone adjoining a large body of water.

COASTAL EROSION -The wearing away of a shoreline as a result of the action of water current, wind and waves.

COASTAL PROCESSES TECHNICAL WORK GROUP - A scientific and technical work group for the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study that is investigating the impacts of water level fluctuations on shore property, with particular attention to erosion and flood processes.

COLONIAL BIRDS - Birds that nest in groups.

COMMERCIAL NAVIGATION TECHNICAL WORK GROUP - A scientific and technical work group for the Study that is investigating the impacts of water levels on cargo shipping, including tug and barge operations.

COMPUTER MODELLING -The use of computers to develop mathematical models of complex systems or processes.

CONNECTING CHANNELS - A natural or artificial waterway of perceptible extent, which either periodically or continuously contains moving water, or which forms a connecting link between two bodies of water. The Detroit River, Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River comprise the connecting channel between Lake Huron and Lake Erie. Between Lake Superior and Lake Huron, the connecting channel is the St. Marys River.

CONSERVATION - The planned management of a natural resource, with the goal of protecting and carefully preserving it from exploitation, destruction or neglect.

CONSUMPTIVE USE - The quantity of water withdrawn or withheld from the Great Lakes and assumed to be lost or otherwise not returned to them, due to evaporation during use, leakage, incorporation into manufactured products or otherwise consumed in various processes.

CONTROL WORKS - Hydraulic structures (channel improvements, locks powerhouses, or dams) built to control outflows and levels of a lake or lake system.

COSMOS MODEL - Name of the erosion prediction numerical model used in this Study for the Lake and upper river.

CRITERIA - A principle or standard by which a judgment or decision is made. Criteria are conceptual but must have operational (measurable in principle) components. Any single criterion can be used to compare the merit of measures or policies along the dimensions encompassed by the criterion. Criteria are used to assess measures and criteria are used to assess the decision-making process (for example, group access to the decision-making bodies).

CRITERIA, CORE - The broad principles upon which the overall value of any measure can be assessed relative to other measures. They include economic sustainability, environmental integrity, social desirability, uncertainty and risk, political acceptability and implementability, and equitability.

CRITERIA, OPERATIONAL - These criteria are subsets of the core criteria. These sub-criteria are quantified on the basis of the application of specific group rules to data or estimates of impacts of the measure. Impact assessments used to score sub-criteria are ultimately used to compare the profiles of measures.

CURRENT - The flowing of water in the lakes caused by the earth's rotation, inflows and outflows, and wind.

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Learn more about the history of regulating water levels and flows on Lake Ontario

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