Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lansing High School results of Cayuga Lake Measurments

Out on the floating laboratory on Cayuga Lake, we collected data on many aspects of the lake's environment including depth, water clarity, temperature, and types of organisms in the water. These were our results:

The measurements were taken in the middle of the lake, just North of Meyer's park. Specifically, the laboratory was stationed at 42° 32.125' North latitude, 76° 33.723' West longitude. On May 11th, conditions were calm and sunny; On May 12th, conditions were overcast and windy. Lake surface on both days was relatively calm with a few small waves and ripples.

The average air temperature recorded was 54.8 degrees, with a range between 46 and 64 degrees at different times in the day. Water pH and temperature samples were taken at varying depths, some as deep as 75 meters below the surface. Listed below is a range of temperatures and pH readings at various depths:

Depth(m) - Temperature(F) - pH

1 - 46 - 8

5 - 47 - 8

20 - 46 - 8.5

30 - 47 - 8

40 - 43 - 8

50 - 43 - 8

75 - 42 - *

* = no reading

Secchi disks, the devices used to read light penetration through the water, indicated an average visual depth of 4.78 meters, with reading ranging from 4.25 to 6 meters. These readings categorized Cayuga lake as Mesotrphic. Actual sunlight penetration depths are closer to twice the visual depth.

Plankton samples were also collected. Samples were taken from depths ranging fromhalf a meter to 20 meters, with an average sample depth of 9.3 meters. Most samples were collected at 8 meters. At 10 meters, samples collected contained lots of plankton and algae, coloring the water green. Samples at depths shallower than five or deeper than 10 were mostly clear, containing very little life. The most common types of phytoplankton found were Diatoms, small plankton that resemble snowflakes. The most common types of zooplankton were Calanoids, which look like very tiny fish with feelers.

No comments: