Following the installation of 16 weirs in South Korea’s major rivers through the Four Rivers Project (2010–2012), the water residence time increased significantly. Accordingly, cyanobacterial blooms have occurred frequently, raising concerns regarding water use and the aquatic ecosystem health. This study analyzed the environmental factors associated with cyanobacterial dominance at four weirs on the Nakdong River through field measurements, and parametric and non-parametric data mining methods. The environmental factors related to cyanobacterial dominance were the seven-day cumulative rainfall (APRCP7), seven-day averaged flow (Q7day), water temperature (Temp), stratification strength (ΔT), electrical conductivity (EC), dissolved oxygen (DO), pH, and NO3
–N, total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorous (TP), PO4
–P, chlorophyll–a, Fe, total organic carbon (TOC), and SiO2
content, along with biological and chemical oxygen demands. The results indicate that site-specific environmental factors contributed to the cyanobacterial dominance for each weir. In general, the physical characteristics of EC, APRCP7, Q7day, Temp, and ΔT were the most important factors influencing cyanobacterial dominance. The EC was strongly associated with cyanobacterial dominance at the weirs because high EC indicated persistent low flow conditions. A minor correlation was obtained between nutrients and cyanobacterial dominance in all but one of the weirs. The results provide valuable information regarding the effective countermeasures against cyanobacterial overgrowth in rivers.
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