New Approaches in Satellite Remote Sensing of Ecosystem Change in the Great Lakes

Saturday, 15 February 2014
Grand Ballroom B (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Colleen B. Mouw , Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI
All of the Great Lakes have undergone significant change over the period of time coinciding with satellite observations.  These changes have triggered alterations in the long-term physical dynamics of the lakes, including warmer water temperatures, decreased winter ice cover and duration, and an earlier onset of stratification.  Fluctuations in the physical forcing impact biological distribution and biogeochemical processes.  In addition to physically driven ecological changes, the lakes are experiencing pressure from invasive species and excessive nutrient loads.  For example, Lake Michigan has experienced increased clarity, alternation in abundance and distribution of biological communities due to mussel invasion.  Lake Erie has been experiencing substantial harmful algal blooms in recent years.  These impacts are observed by satellites, which have the benefit of providing a whole system vantage point of view.  A review of satellite observed variation along with the physical and ecosystem drivers of this change will be provided.