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High-Resolution Temporal Monitoring of an Arid, Urban Lake

Tempe Town Lake is an artificial lake located near the urban core of Tempe, AZ, derived from the damming of the Salt River. It was constructed in 1999 primarily for the use of recreation such as fishing and boating. This lake is Arizona’s second most visited tourist attraction that generated a cumulative economic impact of over $1.5 billion dollars since its creation, so it is critical to monitor and maintain its viability.

Since 2005, it has been subject to long-term water quality monitoring. Dissolved oxygen levels are generally above 5 mg/L, suggesting the lake is not eutrophic. The lake also trends alkaline, with an average pH around 8, likely due to its high productivity and carbonate-poor basement rock.

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