HOT SPOT ANALYSIS & EXPLORATORY REGRESSION ON HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS IN FLORIDA
KeywordsToxic algal bloom
Harmful algal bloom
Gulf of Mexico
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractHarmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are a natural phenomenon occurring 10-50 miles offshore, the size and concentration growing once they become more coastal. These blooms carry a neurotoxin that are not only harmful to marine life, but humans too, creating respiratory problems that could lead to death. Natural conditions such as the amount of sunlight, salinity, and temperature influence their survival and growth but there is also a human factor that accounts to their toxic state. Nutrient rich coastal runoff can attribute to the size and length of time of a red tide; this includes industrial and municipal waste discharge which contains nitrogen and phosphorus, key nutrients that the algae need to grow. This study focuses on an exploration of variables that may or may not affect the size and concentration of the HAB, Karenia brevis, which is responsible for red tides in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly in Florida. I used point data sets for the years 2015-2020 to create density maps that included salinity levels, chlorophyll concentrations, and three Toxic Release Inventory categories to see which affects HABs using Exploratory Regression. Additionally, a hot and cold spot analysis on these six datasets were tested to see if there was any high probability of occurrence around Florida. After running the regression tool, no passing models indicated any variables are related to HABs. However, the criteria VIF and Koenker (BP) of each model did pass as well as hot spots to occur in the Tampa Bay area and Cape Coral.