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Gap analysis of the Great Lakes component of the National Water Level Observation Network (NWLON)
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Gap analysis of the Great Lakes component of the National Water Level Observation Network (NWLON)
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    "This gap analysis for the Great Lakes component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Water Level Observation Network (NWLON) is a companion to an earlier NOAA gap analysis of the tide station network prepared in 2008 and updated in 2014 (A Network Gaps Analysis for the National Water Level Observation Network, NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS CO-OPS 0048). Each report looks at the fundamental requirements for networks of long-term continuous water level stations and assesses the present day network configuration and how well it meets requirements. For the Great Lakes NWLON, the requirements are inherently bi-national in nature, as water level monitoring and regulation is a dual responsibility of both Canada and the United States. The international agreements and coordinating bodies all have specific needs for water level measurement, and they are briefly discussed in this document to provide a sense of the complexity of the Great Lakes hydrological system. The NOAA NWLON covers the U.S. shoreline and a similar Canadian network covers the Canadian shoreline. The gap analysis presented here looks at data from both networks in a comprehensive and an integrated manner. The lake-by-lake assessments draw upon previous studies, reports, and analyses as well as a statistical comparative analysis of a recent seven-year period of data (2005-2011). The impact of differences in the rates of vertical land movement across the Great Lakes emerges as one of the most important parameters in defining the water level station network configuration requirements. The present network of 53 NWLON stations has very little redundancy in spatial coverage, and several areas with weaknesses in coverage are shown. Three (3) specific locations have been identified as NWLON gaps; two in Lake Michigan and one in Lake St. Clair. This report will provide input into program planning for the upcoming update of the International Great Lakes Datum from IGLD 1985 to IGLD 2020"--Executive summary.
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