Home > Explore Data & Reports > In situ, high-resolution time series of dissolved phosphate in Green Bay, Lake Michigan


Zorn, M.E., J.T. Waples, T. Valenta, J.A. Kennedy, and J.V. Klump. 2018. In situ, high-resolution time series of dissolved phosphate in Green Bay, Lake Michigan. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 44(5):875-882. doi:10.1016/j.jglr.2018.07.008

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In nearly every instance in which the environment has been sampled on a higher resolution in time or space, fundamental processes have come to light that were previously undetected or unobserved. In this study, an autonomous dissolved phosphate sensor was deployed at the Entrance Light station in lower Green Bay, Lake Michigan in 2012 and 2013. Hourly phosphate sensor measurements were compared with other real time sensor data to gain insights into the processes occurring at this site. Results showed that the water column at this location undergoes repeated stratification and turnover during the course of the summer. Often, the stratification results from intrusions of cold hypolimnetic bottom water from the north, while turnover is associated with significant northerly and/or easterly wind events. It was observed that, during calm periods, dissolved phosphate concentrations increased at a rate that was stoichiometrically consistent with the consumption of dissolved oxygen during the remineralization of organic matter; specifically, areal oxygen consumption rates ranged from 3.2 to 43 mmol m−2 d−1 and oxygen to phosphate ratios ranged from 120 to 210. At other times, the inverse relationship between dissolved oxygen and dissolved phosphate was not stoichiometrically linked; during these times, areal oxygen depletion rates ranged from 51 to 240 mmol m−2 d−1 and oxygen to phosphate ratios ranged from 260 to 2300. Future strategic deployment of multiple in situ dissolved phosphate and other nutrient sensors will enhance the understanding of nutrient cycling in this important aquatic system.

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