The time series shows monthly averages of satellite-derived surface chlorophyll concentration estimates by year
Time series: This time series shows the average concentration levels of chlorophyll ɑ for Lake Ontario. During the last five years there has been no significant trend and values have remained within the 10th and 90th percentiles of all observed data in the time series.
Gauge: The gauge value of 52 indicates that between 2015 and 2020 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll a in Lake Ontario were slightly higher than the long term median of all chlorophyll ɑ concentration levels between 1998 and 2020.
Description of Indicator
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) makes estimates of surface chlorophyll-a concentrations derived from satellite observations of the surface waters of the Great Lakes. These data are used to supplement data collected during GLNPO’s in-situ Great Lakes monitoring programs. The satellite-derived estimates reported here are based on a band-ratio retrieval algorithm developed using GLNPO monitoring data (Lesht et al. 2013; 2016) applied to data from the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view (SeaWiFS, 1998–2007) and Moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS, 2002–present) ocean color sensors. Source data are extracted from NASA Level-L2 image files at each GLNPO station location. This workbook contains the monthly averages of satellite-derived surface chlorophyll concentration estimates in this lake by year for the period 1998-present. By contouring the month/year averages in this file this analysis is intended to illustrate long-term trends in surface chlorophyll concentrations with temporal detail not possible using the twice-a-year regular monitoring data.
Lake Ontario Description
Lake Ontario has a water surface area of 19,009 square kilometers or 7,340 square miles. In total 5.6 million people live along Lake Ontario with about 2.8 million residents from the United States and Canada each. From Lake Ontario, water leaves the Great Lakes Basin and ecosystem and flows to the Atlantic Ocean through the St. Lawrence River.
Data Background and Caveats
Data obtained from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Ocean Ecology Laboratory, Ocean Biology Processing Group; (2014): Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) Ocean Color Data, NASA OB.DAAC. doi: 10.5067/ORBVIEW-2/SEASWIFS_OC.2014.0 and Moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) Ocean Color Data; 2018 Reprocessing. NASA OB.DAAC. doi: 10.5067/AQUA/MODIS/L2/OC/2018. Accessed on various dates.
Source data are extracted from daily NASA Level-L2 image files. Pixels in a 5x5 pixel box surrounding each station location are examined and the average, standard deviation, and number of valid pixels within the box are calculated for each daily image. The daily images are sorted by month and for each month those daily station averages for which there are 19 or more valid pixels (of the 25) and for which the standard deviation is less than 0.5*max_allowable_value (lake/basin dependent) and for which the mean + standard deviation is less than 1.1*max_allowable_value and for which the mean - one standard deviation is greater than zero are averaged to provide the monthly average for that station. Then the monthly values for the stations are averaged to produce the lake average.
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