Results from this study will support Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement objectives.
New Sediment Profiling Imaging System Deployed on Lake Erie
GLSC staff teamed up with the EPA and Kent State University to test a novel rapid assessment approach for examining benthic ecosystem condition during the Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) intensive field year on Lake Erie. The purpose of the study was to examine benthic community status across Lake Erie’s prominent nutrient gradient, which spans from eutrophic to oligotrophic environments that are variably affected by harmful algal blooms, low oxygen zones, and invasive quagga mussels.
The team undertook a two-week field effort across the entire lake, deploying an advanced Sediment Profiling Imaging system, or SPI cam (pictured below) to look at features within the sediment strata. The images will be paired with water and sediment data to explore how imagery may reflect bottom water chemistry and biogeochemical features to inform benthic indicator development.
The science team consisted of: Richard Kraus (GLSC, Sandusky, Ohio), Beth Hinchey (EPA Great Lakes National Program Office), Janet Nestlerode (EPA Office of Research and Development in Gulf Breeze, Florida), and Taylor Michael (Kent State University, PhD candidate). In collaboration with NOAA-GLERL, Buffalo State University, and Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR), the study will support efforts to advance the binational Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement objectives related to hypoxia and eutrophication.