Assessment and Modeling of Hurricane Impacts on Water Quality and its Spatiotemporal Distribution

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Osborne, Andrew Dylan
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Middle Tennessee State University
Hurricanes have affected the waters of the east coast of the United States throughout the region’s history. These storms cause changes in water quality through mechanisms such as damage to infrastructure, excessive precipitation, and storm surges. We attempt to conduct a regional assessment of these changes in water quality through the study of 14 hurricanes. To reach our goal we collected water quality datasets for 815 stations from the USGS’s Water-Quality Data for the Nation database, extracted a various range of contributing variables for each investigated station, and constructed and employed a machine learning based procedure to determine which contributing factors have the highest impact on water quality as well as the magnitude of the response. This technique yields a better understanding of the relationship between hurricanes and their impact on water quality and also provides a predictive capability where the impact of future hurricanes can be modeled and estimated.
Coastal, Dissolved Oxygen, Hurricane, Nitrates, Turbidity, Water Quality, Geology, Geography, Environmental geology