Freshwater Science: Investigating Hypoxia Dynamics in Lake Erie | Ohio Sea Grant

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The Ohio State University

Ohio Sea Grant


Freshwater Science: Investigating Hypoxia Dynamics in Lake Erie

August 20, 2024 – New research from Ohio Sea Grant, Stone Lab and the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative

Harmful algal blooms and hypoxic zones, or areas with low oxygen, are leading environmental problems in Lake Erie, adversely affecting water quality and fish habitat. Despite their importance, the characteristics and long-term variability of the hypoxic zones in the lake remain poorly understood.

Dr. Fasong Yuan of Cleveland State University is leading multifaceted research to shed light on the dynamics and long-term changes in the lake’s hypoxic zones to help inform policy makers, stakeholders, and resource managers. Researchers are gathering in-situ sensor timeseries data to characterize both nearshore and offshore hypoxic systems, employing stable isotopes of dissolved inorganic carbon to offer a quantitative understanding of oxygen-consuming organic matter in hypoxic waters, and analyzing surface sediments and sediment cores to yield insights into long-term evolution of hypoxia dynamics across the transition zone between hypoxia and normoxia, or areas with normal oxygen level, in central Lake Erie off the coast of Cleveland.

About the Speaker

“(mugshot)!(border-radius-0) (Fasong Yuan)!”:
Fasong Yuan Cleveland State University

Dr. Fasong Yuan is a professor at Cleveland State University. Over the past couple of decades, Dr. Yuan has been working on several projects ranging from Holocene climate reconstructions in the southern Rocky Mountains to nutrient dynamics in Lake Erie, with financial support from state and federal funding agencies such as Ohio Lake Erie Commission, Ohio Sea Grant College Program, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and National Science Foundation (NSF). He employed a range of geochemical and isotopic tracers (e.g., chloride, deuterium, oxygen-18, carbon-13, sulfur-34, and carbon-14) to study modern and ancient aquatic systems. His primary research goal is to improve understanding of some key environmental processes for better anticipating future changes.

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