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Return to Fayetteville Green Lake

May 2 2014
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I'm planning to continue my research of meromictic lakes with a group from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. We will map the bottom of Fayetteville Green Lake using side-scan sonar and I will be bringing two OpenROVs to explore the nooks and cranies of this tiny little gem. Meromictic lakes are very small and surprisingly deep, preventing seasonal mixing of the layered water. The top layer functions normally, but the bottom is an oxygen depleted environment in which few organisms can survive. This is a rare but naturally occurring phenomenon.

May 2 2014

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Expedition Background

During the summer of 2013 I visited Fayetteville Green Lake (FGL) and four other meromictic lakes in New York. I brought a version 2.4 OpenROV with the intent that I would take video, water samples, and record the dissolved oxygen, salinity, and temperature of each layer of water. Although the lakes were beautiful, the trip was a bit of a bust. I was unable to add the extra sensors and water sampler to the ROV before my trip, and I quickly realized I would need a permit to use the OpenROV in the lakes that were in state and county parks.

Now I have an OpenROV 2.6 that is just waiting to be built, and I will be meeting up with the group from ESF. I would love to add a GoPro to the OpenROV to get even better video. I did not get any video of FGL the first time around, and I am so excited to really see this lake. The low turbidity of these lakes make them ideal for exploration with the OpenROV and just like the Black Sea, anything that makes it to the anoxic layer of the lake should be well preserved.

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This is way cool.

How deep is the next lake you are going to explore?

Anoxic zones have so many cool micro-organisms using anaerobic ammonia oxidation. Most people don't realize how critical these little spots are for maintaining breathable levels of atmospheric nitrogen.