High spring nutrient loads could fuel big Lake Erie algal bloom

By on May 24, 2013
The 2011 algal bloom in Lake Erie from Kelley's Island. (Credit: T. Joyce/NOAA GLERL)

Phosphorus loading into Lake Erie, amounting to nearly double seasonal averages, may mean another record algal bloom is on the horizon, according to a Columbus Dispatch report.

Rain from March through the end of April transported 210 tons of dissolved phosphorus into the Maumee River, which enters Lake Erie. About 120 tons of phosphorus typically enters the river during the two-month timeframe.

Runoff of phosphorus into the Maumee River and into Lake Erie was one of the main causes for a record algal bloom in 2011.

A combination of weather conditions also factored into the 2011 record bloom.

The 2011 algal bloom in Lake Erie from Kelley’s Island. (Credit: T. Joyce/NOAA GLERL)

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