Dugan, H. A., J. C. Summers, N. K. Skaff, F. E. Krivak-Tetley, and J. P. Doubek. 2017. Data Descriptor: Long-term chloride concentrations in North American and European freshwater lakes. Scientific Data 4:170101.
Anthropogenic sources of chloride in a lake catchment, including road salt, fertilizer, and wastewater, can elevate the chloride concentration in freshwater lakes above background levels. Rising chloride concentrations can impact lake ecology and ecosystem services such as fisheries and the use of lakes as drinking water sources. To analyze the spatial extent and magnitude of increasing chloride concentrations in freshwater lakes, we amassed a database of 529 lakes in Europe and North America that had greater than or equal to ten years of chloride data. For each lake, we calculated climate statistics of mean annual total precipitation and mean monthly air temperatures from gridded global datasets. We also quantified land cover metrics, including road density and impervious surface, in buffer zones of 100 to 1,500 m surrounding the perimeter of each lake. This database represents the largest global collection of lake chloride data. We hope that long-term water quality measurements in areas outside Europe and North America can be added to the database as they become available in the future.
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