Lake scientists are busy all the time. We know so much about lakes, how they function, and what lives in them because of their work. Yet, there is always more to learn! These in particular caught my eye this month. Read on!

Natural Lake Slicks

Fall leaves reflecting in a Swiss lake. Richard Gomez Angel on

Fall leaves reflecting in a lake. Photo: Richard Gomez Angel on

You’ve likely seen a lake surface slick. These are areas of calm water on the lake surface, while adjacent water may be a little more choppy. They tend to be more obvious on larger lakes, but can occur on smaller ones too. These slicks are hot spots for microbial communities and, it turns out, play an important role for young fish in the marine environment. Here are 2 recent articles on surface slicks and one older one covers what we know about them:
Surface films: areas of water that are often overlooked
Scientists delve into natural lake slicks
Ocean slicks are nurseries for many fish

Our Lakes Are Shrinking

Increased temperatures, changing precipitation patterns and loss of ice cover in winter are changing our lakes. We’ve been reading about individual lakes and the drastic changes there (think Lake Mead), but lakes world wide are shrinking. A recent study published earlier this year looked at satellite data from the last few decades and how much has been lost. Read more.

Zooplankton Make Tiny Waves

Most zooplankton are very small in size compared to fish. They do swim but we don’t think much about what their swimming movements might mean for lake physics. Turns out that we might want to look a little more closely! Zooplankton swimming at the thermocline and at the bottom of lakes can create currents visible on doppler radar. Read more.