Western Lake Erie (WLE) Sampling

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Map of sampling stations in Western Lake Erie

Our work continues to focus on determining Microcystis growth and proliferation as well as microcystin concentrations. In western Lake Erie, 8 specific stations located above are monitored weekly to quantify Microcystis abundance and toxicity, nutrients, pigments, and other environmental parameters, as well as to further understand how Microcystis biomass correlates with toxicity. Through the use of buoy mounted sensors, we are continuously monitoring nitrate (N), chlorophyll, phycocyanin, dissolved oxygen (DO), turbidity, specific conductivity, and other environmental/meteorological data every 15 minutes at 4 fixed moorings in western Lake Erie, indicated in the map above. We are also measuring soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) hourly. These real time measurements of SRP and N provide vital data to quantify the relationship between blue-green algae growth, toxicity, and the influence of nutrients on Microcystis. Through measuring SRP and N's movement and resuspension within the water, we can link this information to river loading and lake circulation models which allows us to provide a more accurate prediction of Microcystis in Lake Erie. One of our future goals is to utilize our monitoring data and models to determine what quantities of SRP and dissolved phosphorus (DP) trigger harmful algal blooms, and how N contributes to toxin production.

Weekly monitoring
WLE Real-time monitoring
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