Results give rise to new inquiries

The discovery that pockets of low dissolved oxygen form at the edge of Lake Erie’s central basin and move with internal waves has prompted improvements to an effort to model and predict hypoxic conditions. Led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with support from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), the results would make it possible to alert personnel at municipal water intakes to conditions that may adversely impact the quality of water coming into their systems.

The Great Lakes to Gulf Visual Observatory, which provides access to water resource data from the Mississippi River and featured watersheds in the basin, was developed using Great Lakes Monitoring technology. A partnership between the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), the web tool includes information from USGS super gauges and plays an integral role in Illinois’ efforts to measure progress toward statewide nutrient loss reduction goals.

After more than a decade of field years, cutting-edge analytical tools are opening the way to projects that use Cooperative Science Monitoring Initiative data to The Great Lakes to Gulf Visual Observatory, which provides access to water resource data from the Mississippi River and featured watersheds in the basin, was developed using Great Lakes Monitoring technology.

With help from the NCSA, the U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office is integrating algorithms into water temperature profile data collected in Lake Superior. The computations will enable researchers to more accurately identify temperature shifts, which in turn will make it possible to test predictions that climate change will alter the depth of the lake’s thermocline.

IISG and Purdue University researchers are applying lessons learned from continuous dissolved oxygen monitoring in Lake Erie to Saginaw Bay. Lake managers there are interested in building artificial rock reefs to encourage winter fish spawning and need help identifying locations where oxygen levels remain high even when covered by ice.