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From Hot to Cold

Large Lakes Observatory (LLO) researchers are giving the western arm of Lake Superior a comprehensive evaluation and the timing couldn't be more interesting.

Photo: Bob Sterner. Credit Russell Habermann

"During the summer of 2012, we monitored the aftermath of a 100-year flood and a near-record-high surface water temperature. In 2014, we observed stunning and prolonged ice cover." - Bob Sterner, Director, LLO (above)

Photo: Smelt and Diatom. Credit Jeff Gunderson and Mark Edlund

Though edible, rainbow smelt (above left) are considered one of Lake Superior's disruptive invaders. Tom Hrabik and his graduate students are involved in the more fishy parts of this comprehensive work.

Scientists collecting diatoms like this one (above right) documented shifts in species abundance between seasons and years.

Blue Heron crew maneuvering CTD and photo of Doug Ricketts. Credit Chris J. Benson and Sharon Moen

Blue Heron crew (above left) maneuver the CTD (Conductivity-Temperature-Depth) profiler into place before lowering it overboard to capture water from different depths. Doug Ricketts, Senior Research Associate and Marine Superintendent with LLO, carefully lowers sampling equipment into the water. (above right)

Photo: Liz Minor assessing water samples. Credit Sharon Moen

Chemistry professor Liz Minor (above) assesses the CTD for substances like caffeine, calcium, and ammonia.

The Environmental and Natural Resource Trust Fund administered by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources awarded $600,000 to the University of Minnesota's Large Lakes Observatory researchers.

They are using this money to evaluate how a changing thermal structure and invasive species are altering Lake Superior. The results, which Minnesota Sea Grant will help to extend, are expected to inform strategies for managing the lake's water quality.

Hear more about this project! Listen to these audio files:

By Sea Grant Staff
June 2015

Return to June 2015 Seiche

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