Red Lake Research: Climate, Nutrients, and Water Quality
Red Lakes Research Could Reveal Connections Between Climate, Nutrients, and Water Quality
A new study underway by Research Station scientists seeks a familiar objective in a unique new locale. In partnership with the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, they will reconstruct the history of Upper and Lower Red Lakes – with a combined size of 288,000 acres, the largest water body entirely in the borders of Minnesota, and with a unique history and watershed – using techniques the Station's staff developed over the past 20 years.
Extracting sediment cores from the bottom of the lake and analyzing the mud will provide essential data about the water quality and how the lake has worked for the past 200 years.
Combined with intensive water quality monitoring that the Red Lake Nation Department of Natural Resources has conducted since 1990, this work will reveal natural cycles and human impacts, to help better protect and manage the lake in the future.
"We are really interested in learning whether the nutrient dynamics of the lake have shifted since the area was settled by Europeans and using that information to establish baselines for water quality goals," said Shane Bowe of the Red Lake Department of Natural Resources.