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Extension > Water Resources > South Center Lake research station is deployed

Friday, May 19, 2017

South Center Lake research station is deployed

Chris Ellis, St Anthony Falls Lab, works to bring the research station online after the anchors have been set in South Center Lake, MN
By Ann Wilkinson, University of Minnesota, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory

The harmful algal bloom (HAB) team from the University of Minnesota, St. Anthony Falls lab deployed our long-term HAB monitoring research station on South Center Lake, MN on Thursday, May 11, 2017, with help from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. This monitoring effort, led by Miki Hondzo, is funded by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative‐Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).

The research station will be continuously monitoring lake and weather conditions from May through October 2017, from its anchored location on South Center Lake. The purpose of the research station is to understand environmental triggers for HAB in Minnesota lakes. To do that, we will be monitoring vertical and temporal variability of blue-green algae concentrations, as well as water chemistry and meteorological conditions at high frequency. The research station is uniquely equipped to collect full depth profiles of the lake (14m) every two hours and can run autonomously. The data collected from the research station can be accessed remotely so we can respond to bloom events in addition to long-term monitoring.

We will also be on the lake on a weekly basis to collect water samples for phytoplankton composition, nutrients and toxin quantification. This research will help us predict, where, when and why HAB form and produce toxins to help protect wildlife, recreation and drinking water in and around Minnesota lakes. A similar study using our research station was conducted on Madison Lake last summer.

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