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Sci Data. 2017 Aug 8;4:170101. doi: 10.1038/sdata.2017.101.

Long-term chloride concentrations in North American and European freshwater lakes.

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Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 680 N Park St, Madison Wisconsin, 53706, USA.
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Box AB, Millbrook, New York 12545, USA.
Queen's University, 99 University Ave, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6.
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, 13 Natural Resources Building, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.
Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, 78 College Street, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, USA.
Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, 926 West Campus Drive, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA.
University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave. W, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1.
School of Freshwater Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 600 E Greenfield Ave, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53204, USA.
Lammi Biological Station, University of Helsinki, FI-16900 Lammi, Finland.
Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Environmental Monitoring and Reporting Branch, 125 Resources Rd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M9P 3V6.
MTA-PE Limnoecology Research Group, Egyetem u. 10, 8200 Veszprém, Hungary.
Department of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, University of West Hungary, Károly Gáspár tér 4, 9700 Szombathely, Hungary.
Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Müggelseedamm 301, D-12587 Berlin, Germany.
CARRTEL, INRA (French National Institute for Agronomical Research), 74203 Thonon-les-Bains, France.
NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4AP, UK.
New York City Department of Environmental Protection, 71 Smith Ave., Kingston, New York 12401, USA.
CNR Institute of Ecosystem Study, L.go Tonolli 50, I-28922 Verbania Pallanza, Italy.


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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