Algae are common in surface waters throughout Minnesota. They are microscopic organisms that are a natural part of any aquatic environment. When temperature and water conditions are right, algae, particularly blue-green algae, can form blooms that can grow very rapidly and reach extremely dense populations. Algal blooms can turn the water green and smelly, contribute to fish kills, and at times produce toxins that pose a health risk to people and animals. The Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) has recently funded research efforts to facilitate the detection and prediction of blue-green algal blooms in Minnesota lakes.
The University of Minnesota algae research group at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, led by Prof. Hondzo, along with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and other partners, are investigating what conditions trigger algal blooms in lakes. Starting June 2016, we will be using new and advanced water quality monitoring equipment in Madison Lake, Minnesota to track the weather, environmental conditions, and lake processes that can produce, sustain, or prevent algal blooms. The research will help us better understand how algal blooms develop in our lakes and bring us one step closer to algal bloom prediction and prevention.
Watch the video below to learn more about our custom water quality monitoring buoy and its recent deployment.
Results from this study will analyze the significance of various environmental conditions on triggering algal blooms in Madison Lake, Minnesota.
Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR), Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund
Miki Hondzo, Professor of Civil, Environmental, and GeoEngineering and the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota
Michele Guala, Professor of Civil, Environmental, and GeoEngineering and the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota
Shaham Missaghi, Extension Educator, University of Minnesota Extension
Christine Salomon, Center for Drug Design, University of Minnesota
Anne Wilkinson, PhD student, Civil, Environmental and GeoEngineering and the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota - Extension
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Science Museum of Minnesota
This project began Summer 2016 and is ongoing.