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Cho, Kyung Hwa
Environmental Monitoring and Modeling Lab (EM2)
Research Interests
  • Water Quality Monitoring and Modeling, Water Treatment Process Modeling

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Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends consistent with expected future conditions

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Title
Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends consistent with expected future conditions
Author
Michalak, Anna M.Anderson, Eric J.Beletsky, DmitryBoland, StevenBosch, Nathan S.Bridgeman, Thomas B.Chaffin, Justin D.Cho, Kyung HwaConfesor, RemDaloglu, IremDePinto, Joseph V.Evans, Mary AnneFahnenstiel, Gary L.He, LingliHo, Jeff C.Jenkins, LizaJohengen, Thomas H.Kuo, Kevin C.LaPorte, ElizabethLiu, XiaojianMcWilliams, Michael R.Moore, Michael R.Posselt, Derek J.Richards, R. PeterScavia, DonaldSteiner, Allison L.Verhamme, EdWright, David M.Zagorski, Melissa A.
Keywords
BLUE-GREEN-ALGAE; CENTRAL BASIN; MICROCYSTIS BLOOMS; DREISSENID MUSSELS; GREAT-LAKES; SAGINAW BAY; PHOSPHORUS; EUTROPHICATION; CYANOBACTERIA; ZEBRA
Issue Date
201304
Publisher
NATL ACAD SCIENCES
Citation
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, v.110, no.16, pp.6448 - 6452
Abstract
In 2011, Lake Erie experienced the largest harmful algal bloom in its recorded history, with a peak intensity over three times greater than any previously observed bloom. Here we show that long-term trends in agricultural practices are consistent with increasing phosphorus loading to the western basin of the lake, and that these trends, coupled with meteorological conditions in spring 2011, produced record-breaking nutrient loads. An extended period of weak lake circulation then led to abnormally long residence times that incubated the bloom, and warm and quiescent conditions after bloom onset allowed algae to remain near the top of the water column and prevented flushing of nutrients from the system. We further find that all of these factors are consistent with expected future conditions. If a scientifically guided management plan to mitigate these impacts is not implemented, we can therefore expect this bloom to be a harbinger of future blooms in Lake Erie.
URI
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DOI
http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1216006110
ISSN
0027-8424
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