LAGOS database overview

LAGOS is a multi-scaled database system and a set of tools to study lake water quality at macroscales. Within the LAGOS umbrella, we have created and shared: versioned water quality databases, software and code for analysis of geographic and tabular data, procedures and policies for team science, and research publications.

What is included in the LAGOS database? 

The LAGOS database includes in situ observations of lake water quality in thousands of lakes and the lake ecological context for ALL lakes in a study extent. However, there is not only one LAGOS database, and there are 3 modules that make up LAGOS that are quite different from each other, but are fully integrated. Therefore, there are multiple LAGOS databases depending on the study extent, and for each study extent, there are 3 modules with different types of data (and, each of which is version-controlled).

LAGOS naming conventions 

(1)  The study extent for the LAGOS database – signified by the 2 digits after the dash:

LAGOS-NE: This is the first LAGOS database created and it includes 17 Northeastern and Midwestern US states and their lakes.

LAGOS-NE-lakesLAGOS-US: This will be the second LAGOS database created and it will include all 48 continental US states and their lakes.

LAGOS-US-lakesLAGOS-???: Our vision is that versions of LAGOS can be built anywhere in the world, in any country using our methods and standards to allow for easy integration with other lake databases to foster continental and global analyses of lakes.


(2)  The modules for the LAGOS database – signified by the subscript after the database name:

LAGOS-NELOCUS:  This module includes information on the physical location and features of the ‘census’ populations of lakes (i.e., all lakes with a study extent), which are defined as all lakes in the study extent > 4 ha. The information provided for this population of lakes includes: lake unique identifiers, lake area, perimeter, latitude and longitude, and the zone IDs that the lake is located within (e.g., state, county, the hydrologic unit at each level (4, 8, and 12).

LAGOS-NEGEO:  This module includes information on the ecological context of the census lakes, their watersheds, and their regions. The information provided in the data tables for this module is organized into three main themes: CHAG – climate, hydrology, atmospheric deposition of nitrogen and sulfur, and surficial geology; LULC – land use/cover, canopy cover, slope and terrain indices, and dam density; and CONN – lake, stream, and wetland abundance and connectivity measures.

LAGOS-NELIMNO:  This module includes in situ measurements of lake water quality that are most commonly measured by state agencies and researchers for studying eutrophication. For each water quality data value, we also include metadata related to the sampling program, methods, qualifiers with data flags from the original program, censor codes from our quality control procedures, and the date of each sample.

Click here for instructions how to access LAGOS products.


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