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Algal blooms in Myall Lakes - are they natural or man made?

Project Member(s): Skilbeck, C., Ralph, P.

Start year: 2001

Summary: An algal bloom has been affecting Myal Lakes (central coast NSW) for the past 18 months. Whilst the current bloom is considered non-toxic, the lake managers (National Parks and WIldlife) are concerned about the affect on water quality in this popular eco-tourist location and the potential for future toxic outbreaks. The questions they would like answered are: 1. Is the current bloom due to human activity or is it natural? 2. What is the frequency and cause of past blooms? 3. What is the risk of a toxic bloom occurring in the future? We will study the ecological relationship between the surface algae forming the bloom and the bottom-dwelling microbes which have a better chance of preservation in the sedimentary record through the use of magnetic proxies, in order to investigate the record of past blooms in the lake.

Publications:

Skilbeck, CG, Heap, AD & Woodroffe, CD 2017, 'Geology and Sedimentary History of Modern Estuaries' in Weckstrom, K, Saunders, KM, Gell, PA & Skilbeck, CG (eds), Applications of Paleoenvironmental Techniques in Estuarine Studies, Springer, Netherlands, pp. 45-74.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site

Taffs, KH, Weckstrom, K, Saunders, KM, Gell, PG & Skilbeck, CG 2017, 'Introduction to the Application of Paleoecological Techniques in estuaries' in Weckstrom, K, Saunders, KM, Gell, PA & Skilbeck, CG (eds), Applications of Paleoenvironmental Techniques in Estuarine Studies, Springer, The Netherlands, pp. 1-6.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site

FOR Codes: Climatology (incl. Palaeoclimatology), Geophysics not elsewhere classified, Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology), Land and water management, Control of pests and exotic species, Physical and chemical conditions, Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Coastal and Estuarine Environments, Geodynamics, Climate Change Processes