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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

GIAC Pre-Teen Green Cruise #2

We had a great cruise this morning with the GIAC pre-teen green program. The weather was beautiful, everybody was willing to pitch in, and we found out some really interesting things about the lake!

We began the day by doing a depth profile near Cornell's RUSS Station. We found that the pH was very high, around 9.0, meaning that the water was very basic. We later confirmed this when we saw plants coated in a whitish crystalline substance called calcium carbonate, which begins to settle out of the water onto plants when the pH is about 9.

We also found some interesting results in our plankton samples. We noticed a lot of visible clumps of something on the surface, so we took a surface sample with our plankton net and found large colonies of Microcystis. This is an algae that produces a toxin which can harm other plankton, so we will keep an eye on the rest of the plankton population in the lake to see if there are further problems. If the Microcystis colonies keep growing, we might start to see even more visible algae blooms on the surface--We'll keep you updated!

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