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The graphs and images below are created from live data from the Highland Lake buoy and updated every 15 minutes while the buoy is in the water ( typically May – November).
This is a simplified cartoon of the conditions in Highland Lake. Most items like wind, oxygen and temperature are physical measurements. The thermal structure of the lake is shown by the different bands of color. The red band shows warmer water, the green cooler water and blue is the coldest water. Surface flow (how the water is moving at the top of the lake), upwelling/downwelling (how water is moving up and down in the lake), and Secchi depth (clarity of the lake) are computed parameters. We are still working on the surface flow, upwelling and downwelling arrows. Secchi depth is only displayed during the day since we use light attenuation to compute this value.
This graph depicts dissolved oxygen conditions at the bottom of Highland Lake, shown by a red line. Oxygen conditions in the 8-10 ppm range indicate that water is saturated or nearly saturated with oxygen. When levels get below 5 ppm, deep water fish are stressed and may die. When levels get below 2 ppm, the sediment water interface changes and nutrients can be re-released into the water column from the sediments. The green line represents biomass concentrations , which is a measure of the amount of algae growing near the surface. Notice the daily fluctuations in the data. The blue line is the lake’s stability and represents how easily the different depths of the lake can mix with each other. In the spring, the water is fairly uniform in temperature and pressure and can easily mix but as the summer progresses, the lake stratifies and lake mixing is greatly diminished. Higher stability readings indicate that the lake is more stratified and mixing between the upper and lower levels of the water column is less likely.
The top graph in this image shows temperature at different depths throughout the water column. Sensors are placed every other meter (3.28 feet) from the surface to the bottom. As the season progresses, the temperature variation between the layers will grow. During spring and fall turnover, the temperature readings will come back together and this allows for mixing. The bottom graph shows changes in algae concentrations over time in surface waters.
The upper graph is a “heat map”, showing the temperature structure of Highland Lake. The bottom graph is similar but shows oxygen conditions in the lake.
This image is a more detailed “heat map” and shows the temperatures at different depths within the lake.
The upper graph shows wind direction and speed for the last two weeks over temperature at different depths for the same time period.
The top graph shows the intensity of sunlight above the water versus the intensity about 6 feet down. The difference is called light attenuation and it can be used to estimate the clarity or Secchi depth on the lake. The bottom graph shows oxygen concentrations in percent saturation throughout the water column versus the amount of algae in the surface waters.
The graph on the left shows a current temperature and oxygen profile of the lake. It is important to notice the scales on both the upper and lower axes. As the summer goes on the both scales will increase as there is a more dramatic differences between the upper and lower temperature and oxygen conditions. The graph on the right shows the volume of the lake at different depths. As the graph depicts, the vast majority of water in Highland Lake is above 10 meters ( 33 feet).