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Water 2017, 9(4), 279; doi:10.3390/w9040279

Effects of Local Weather Variation on Water-Column Stratification and Hypoxia in the Western, Sandusky, and Central Basins of Lake Erie

1
Franz Theodore Stone Laboratory, The Ohio State University, Put-In-Bay, OH 43456, USA
2
Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division, Defiance College, Defiance, OH 43512, USA
3
Limnology Laboratory, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Present address: Department of Earth Sciences, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
Present address: Ohio Department of Transportation, 317 East Poe Road, Bowling Green, OH 43402, USA
§
Present address: L’Oréal USA, 7080 New Buffington Road, Florence, KY 41042, USA
Present address: Inland Fisheries Research Unit, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, 10517 Canal Road SE, Hebron, OH 43025, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maria Filomena Camões
Received: 8 February 2017 / Revised: 29 March 2017 / Accepted: 9 April 2017 / Published: 16 April 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2977 KB, uploaded 27 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

Hypoxia, low dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations (<2 mg/L), has been a major issue in Lake Erie for decades. While much emphasis has been placed on biological factors, particularly algal blooms, contributing to hypolimnetic oxygen depletion, there has been little focus on the role of weather. For this study, we monitored water temperature and DO concentrations at sites in the western, central, and Sandusky basins in Lake Erie during June and July 2010–2012. We then compared trends in stratification and DO concentrations to weather patterns during that period. We found that during those three years, there was significant variation in weather patterns, particularly decreased ice coverage and increased storm events in 2012. These weather patterns corresponded to 2012 having the warmest water temperatures, some of the lowest DO concentrations, and a deeper and thinner hypolimnion (especially in the central basin) than the previous years. We found a relationship between weather and hypoxia, providing further evidence for why these basins are susceptible to low DO conditions during summer months. The role of weather in hypoxia is another indication that the lake is vulnerable to effects of climate change and should be considered in management strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: weather; hypolimnion; dissolved oxygen; Lake Erie weather; hypolimnion; dissolved oxygen; Lake Erie
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Perello, M.M.; Kane, D.D.; Golnick, P.; Hughes, M.C.; Thomas, M.A.; Conroy, J.D. Effects of Local Weather Variation on Water-Column Stratification and Hypoxia in the Western, Sandusky, and Central Basins of Lake Erie. Water 2017, 9, 279.

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