Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2017NY238B

Variability in water quality and the effect of climate change and teleconnections on lake thermal structure in the Sky Lakes of Shawangunk Ridge

Institute: New York
Year Established: 2017 Start Date: 2017-03-01 End Date: 2018-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $10,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: Not available

Principal Investigators: David Richardson

Abstract: The Shawangunk Ridge spans Ulster, Sullivan, and Orange counties and contains ~14 headwater “Sky Lakes”. Many of these lakes reside within protected and managed lands (i.e. state parks, state forests, or private preserves), are minimally influenced by humans and relatively isolated from the surrounding landscape, and are significant economic resources for the Hudson Valley region. The lakes have experienced external forcing including climate change and teleconnections (e.g., El Nilimate oscillations) and small land use modifications. We will examine the geographic and watershed drivers of the variability in trophic status, cyanobacteria presence, and anoxia across the Sky Lakes. We will also use long-term lake temperature records to identify the effects of climate change and teleconnections on lake warming and stratification. We will train multiple undergraduate students on this project. We will provide information to local managers and governments on the role of external and internal drivers of water quality as well as predictions for changes in the future. The results from this work will extend to other sensitive and culturally important headwater lentic ecosystems within the broader Hudson River watershed.