A network of lakes in the northeastern U.S. equipped with environmental sensors is helping researchers understand the effects of extreme weather on inland water bodies, according to the National Geographic NewsWatch.
A study of nine lakes, all part of the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network, examined the effects of Hurricane Irene using high-frequency data captured by buoy-mounted automated sensors. The data show that each lake’s temperature profile and thermal stratification were disrupted by the storm, and the level of disruption increased depending on the size of the lake’s watershed. The thermal structure returned to mostly normal within a week. Sensors and citizen monitoring programs also measured increased levels of turbidity and phosphorous.
The lakes studied include New Hampshire’s Lake Sunapee and Connecticut’s Lake Lillinonah.
Image: The dam on the Housatonic River that creates Lake Lillinonah, one of the lakes in the GLEON study