Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Real-Time Lake Data Advances Ecology Research

Date:
August 22, 2000
Source:
University Of Wisconsin-Madison
Summary:
Bobbing over the 100-foot depths of northern Wisconsin's Trout Lake, a technology-stocked buoy is helping scientists track the vital signs of major ecological change.

Bobbing over the 100-foot depths of northern Wisconsin's Trout Lake, a technology-stocked buoy is helping scientists track the vital signs of major ecological change.

Related Articles


Trout Lake Research Station, the northern outpost of lake researchers at the university, added the unique remote sensing buoy this summer to its arsenal of water research tools. The $85,000 monitoring buoy is putting out a steady stream of data on the water and the atmosphere, which is feeding the station's long-term research efforts.

Among the sophisticated gadgets on the buoy is a "vertical profiler," a unit that can probe the deepest point in Trout Lake -- 107 feet - and provide all sorts of water quality measures along the way. The profiler is attached to a cable and controls its buoyancy like a submarine.

From below, the buoy measures water temperature, clarity, mineral content, dissolved gases, pH, and chlorophyll levels. From above, it tracks wind, barometric pressure, relative humidity, light and air temperature.

Collectively, the information is the raw material for the station's Long-Term Ecological Research project, which is helping track global warming, pollution or landscape changes that take ages to manifest themselves.

Trout Lake, six other northwoods lakes and four Madison-area lakes are part of the National Science Foundation's LTER program, which encompasses 24 field stations around North America. The landscapes include everything from Arctic tundra to arid desert.

Paul Hanson, a scientist with UW-Madison's limnology laboratory, introduced the technology to colleagues at an all-scientists meeting of LTER in August. He says the technology should be a boon to the program's goals of tracking subtle ecological changes.

Collecting baseline information on water quality is a core activity at Trout Lake, and this remote sensing buoy does it without anyone getting their feet wet. The buoy is equipped with a small computer and Internet connection that transfers all the information in real time to a web site.

"The communication system we're using is called spread-spectrum radio, a recently declassified military technology," Hanson says. "It's basically unencodable because the signal hops across different frequencies."

The buoy has three flat legs containing solar panels that run all the equipment. The station is moored to one spot in the lake and surrounded by bright orange buoys.

"Our ultimate goal is to take the Internet right into the field, and not only collect information but control the device via Internet connection," Hanson says.

Apprise Technologies, a company out of Duluth, Minn., built the standard buoy system used primarily in large reservoirs and the Great Lakes. Hanson says researchers are still uncertain about whether to keep the buoy in business through the long northwoods winter. The data would be valuable, he says, but the warranty doesn't cover ice damage.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Wisconsin-Madison. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Wisconsin-Madison. "Real-Time Lake Data Advances Ecology Research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000814021155.htm>.
University Of Wisconsin-Madison. (2000, August 22). Real-Time Lake Data Advances Ecology Research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000814021155.htm
University Of Wisconsin-Madison. "Real-Time Lake Data Advances Ecology Research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000814021155.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins