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Lakes Current Events

Great Lakes Ice Cover at 85.2 Percent
February 23, 2014 | NOAA

In mid-February the Great Lakes total ice cover was at 85.2% and moving towards the record of 94.7% set in 1979. The maximum 2012 ice cover was 38.4%.

Drilling Problems Exploring Subglacial Lakes in Antarctica
January 23, 2014 |

A Nature article looks at the problems encountered when researchers attempt to drill into lakes beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Steam Fog Streaming from the Great Lakes
January 9, 2014 | NASA Earth Observatory

“A swirling mass of Arctic air moved south into the continental United States in early January 2014. On January 3, the air mass began breaking off from the polar vortex, a semi-permanent low-pressure system with a center around Canada’s Baffin Island. The frigid air was pushed south into the Great Lakes region by the jet stream, bringing abnormally cold temperatures to many parts of Canada and the central and eastern United States.

When the cold air passed over the relatively warm waters of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, the contrast in temperatures created a visual spectacle. As cold, dry air moved over the lakes, it mixed with warmer, moister air rising off the lake surfaces, transforming the water vapor into fog—a phenomenon known as steam fog.” Quoted from NASA’s Earth Observatory.

Plastic MicroBeads in the Great Lakes?
December 19, 2013 | New York Times

Tiny plastic beads are added to facial scrubs, toothpaste and other products to improve their abrasive properties. Now those beads are being found in large numbers in the waters of the Great Lakes.

Ancient Lake in the Gale Crater on Mars?
December 10, 2013 | NASA

“This illustration depicts a concept for the possible extent of an ancient lake inside Gale Crater. The existence of a lake there billions of years ago was confirmed from examination of mudstone in the crater’s Yellowknife Bay area.”

Studying Diatoms in the Lakes of Southwestern Greenland
November 6, 2013 | National Science Foundation

Diatom populations in the lakes of southwestern Greenland are different from those in other parts of the Arctic in that they were rich in ‘warmer’ water diatoms throughout the Holocene.

1000 Pound Fragment of the Chelyabinsk Meteorite?
October 17, 2013 |

Divers have recovered several pieces of what they believe is the Chelyabinsk meteorite from a lake in the Ural Mountains.

Plankton Bloom in Lake Ontario
September 2, 2013 | NASA Earth Observatory

“This photograph taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station highlights a late summer plankton bloom across much of Lake Ontario, one of North America’s Great Lakes. Microscopic cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, can reach such large concentrations and color the water to such an extent that the change is visible from orbit.” Quoted from the Earth Observatory website.

Fish in Antarctic Lake Vostok?
July 9, 2013 | BBC

Lake Vostok is a “lake” located about 2 1/2 miles below the surface ice of Antarctica. It has not had contact with the atmosphere for millions of years. DNA evidence recovered from drilling allows the possibility that “fish” might live in the lake.

National Geographic has an article that quotes other researchers who are skeptical about the DNA evidence.

Extreme Algal Blooms
April 5, 2013 | National Science Foundation

“A 2011 record-breaking algae bloom in Lake Erie was triggered by long-term agricultural practices coupled with extreme precipitation, followed by weak lake circulation and warm temperatures, scientists have discovered.” Quoted from the National Science Foundation press release.

Lake Mead Video and Report
April 4, 2013 | USGS

“A new video from the U.S. Geological Survey illustrates Lake Mead’s healthy and robust ecosystem and the aquatic science research and monitoring that happens on the lake.” Quoted from the USGS video release.

The report can be downloaded and is titled: “A Synthesis of Aquatic Science for Management of Lakes Mead and Mohave

Micro-Sub in a Buried Antarctic Lake
March 3, 2013 | NASA

This video shows how a NASA micro-sub was deployed 2000 feet down a borehole to investigate one of the subglacial lakes in Antarctica.

Underwater Logging
February 4, 2013 |

This isn’t geology… but a guy in Maine makes a living by finding ancient logs that have been on the bottoms of lakes – usually for centuries. He then hoists them up to his pontoon boat, tows them to a mill and saws them into exotic lumber that sells at premium prices.

January 2013: Most Popular
February 3, 2013 | News

Giant Squid in the North Pacific

Every Field Geologist Should Know This…

Why Lava Has a Red Glow

Falling Water Levels in the Great Lakes

Eruption at Copahue

How Deep Does Magma Form?

M6.1 Earthquake on the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge

2012: Hottest and Second Most Extreme

A Spring-Fed Lake on Mars?
January 27, 2013 | NASA

The McLaughlin Crater on Mars is about 57 miles in diameter and about 1.4 miles deep. Researchers believe that it may have once been filled with water supplied by springs.

Falling Water Levels in the Great Lakes
January 18, 2013 | CNN

Water levels on the Great Lakes were at December record lows last month, causing problems at some ports and requiring some cargo ships to lighten their loads.

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