Spatio‐Temporal Analysis of Hypoxia in the Central Basin of Lake Erie of North America
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Spatio‐Temporal Analysis of Hypoxia in the Central Basin of Lake Erie of North America

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  • Journal Title:
    Water Resources Research
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    We develop a spatio‐temporal geostatistical interpolation framework to estimate hypoxia extent (dissolved oxygen [DO] concentrations below 2 mg/L) with data from a network of DO loggers. The framework uses empirical orthogonal functions and Bayesian kriging to identify the spatially varying temporal pattern and estimate the distribution of hypoxia, including estimation uncertainty. A prototype web application is also developed in R. The framework is applied to analyze spatio‐temporal dynamics of DO in the central basin of Lake Erie in North America using data sampled from a logger network placed on the lake bottom during the summers of 2014, 2015, and 2016. Cross‐validation results demonstrate that the framework is capable of capturing the dynamic nature of bottom hypoxia over offshore areas, but nearshore areas have poor interpolation performance due to the impacts of complex physical processes such as seiche events. The findings showed that in the central basin, hypoxia started to emerge in early August of 2014, while in 2015 and 2016 hypoxia began in July. The peak hypoxia extent occurred in late September 2014, mid‐August 2015, and early September 2016. The prediction error of the overall spatial extent of hypoxia was as large as 25% of the interpolation area based on current logger deployment. Based on the cross‐validation and interpolation error, we suggest placing more loggers in nearshore areas to reduce prediction error near the margins of the hypoxic zone.
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    Water Resources Research, 57(10)
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