Ma, JG; Duan, HT; He, LY; Tiffany, M; Cao, ZG; Qi, TC; Shen, M; Biggs, T; Xu, XF (2020). Spatiotemporal pattern of gypsum blooms in the Salton Sea, California, during 2000-2018. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF APPLIED EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOINFORMATION, 89, 102090.

Algal blooms and the resulting deterioration of water quality have threatened the environmental health of inland lakes. This study investigated the spatiotemporal dynamics of gypsum blooms in the Salton Sea, the largest inland water body in California. An innovative gypsum bloom index (GI) was proposed to detect gypsum blooms based on Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)/Terra data for three bands (469, 555, and 859 nm) during 2000-2018. Discoloration (from green to reddish brown) was observed in the gypsum bloom-infested waters mapped using the hue, saturation, and value (HSV) color model. We found that: (1) the GI is able to effectively map gypsum blooms in the Salton Sea with a relatively high accuracy (85 %); (2) the largest gypsum bloom area was observed in summer (August and September), with notable gypsum blooms lasting more than 40 days in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2016, and 2018; (3) the gypsum bloom-infested waters shifted from the center to the southeastern shore of the lake during 2003-2018, and the frequency of gypsum blooms significantly increased since 2008. Meanwhile, the temporal and spatial differences between the northwestern and south-eastern lake increased over the observation period; and (4) discoloration occurred in the gypsum bloom-infested waters and lasted for 14 days on average, longer periods of discoloration (more than 20 days) occurred d in 2002, 2016, and 2018. The reconstruction of gypsum bloom dynamics in the Salton Sea provides valuable information for the practical management and restoration of the Salton Sea.