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Project ID: 2002TX51B

Title: Higher-Order Statisticts in Transport and Evolution of Algae Blooms

Project Type: Research

Focus Categories: Water Quality, Nutrients, Ecology

Keywords: algae, transport, statistics, hydrodynamic modeling

Start Date: 03/01/2002

End Date: 02/01/2003

Federal Funds: $5,000

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $22,500

Congressional District: 10th

Principal Investigators:
Jordan E. Furnans
University of Texas at Austin

Ben R. Hodges
University of Texas at Austin


Water quality models are critical in order to develop data for US Environmental Protection Agency-mandated Total Maximum Daily Loads [TMDLs]. Currently-used water quality models use only mean values of steady-state variables [for example, dissolved phosphorus, particulate nitrogen, phytoplankton mass, and stored nutrients] to predict the occurrence of algal blooms. The use of mean values removes important maximum and minimum values as well as the population variance. As a result, these techniques have been criticized as not accurately or adequately modeling the relationships between nutrients, phytoplankton, and algal blooms. As an alternative, this project will develop a sub-grid representation of the statistical distributions for water quality variables, thus resulting in a better resolution of non-linear dynamics that need to be considered when evaluating this issue. Objectives of this project are to develop a consistent methodology to apply high order statistics [multiple modes, variance, and skewness] to represent algal and nutrient concentrations, to evaluate various transport techniques, and to implement these improvements in a 3-dimensional model.

The anticipated results of this project will be the development of statistically sophisticated, 3-dimensional, models that can be of great assistance in predicting and evaluating conditions where nutrients and poor water quality are thought to lead to algal blooms and other water quality concerns.

Progress/Completion Report PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Thursday June 24, 2004 3:18 PM
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