Why Does Lake Tahoe Sport Blue Hues

July 30, 2015 / No Comments

If there’s one lake on this planet that defines the amalgam of clarity and blueness, then it surely got to be Lake Tahoe. The freshwater lake in Sierra Nevada has been drawing masses from around with its mesmerizing blue-hue and clarity.

lake tahoe Why Does Lake Tahoe Sport Blue Hues

Conservationists around have been keenly engaging themselves into preserving the clarity of water, and they believe that’s to subsequently help them preserve the blueness of the lake. But that just remains a belief, as new scientist revelations point out that the water clarity has got nothing to do with the blue color of the lake. In fact, it’s something else that has been keeping Lake Tahoe azure in its appearance.

Using data from a NASA Jet Propulsion Lab research buoy and an instrument for capturing the light, researchers from UC Davis and Laval University of Canada have now summed it up that the blue hue  of Lake Tahoe is due to the presence of algae in it.

Hyper-spectral radiometers were used to find the relation between clarity and blueness, and it was found that the more it got bluer, the less clear it became and vice versa. While clarity of the river gets related with urban-borne particles, the blueness factor has been found out to be attributed by lesser algae content, mostly which occur during the summer period of a year.

Shohei Watanabe, the lead scientist involved with the study also adds that the finding must not hamper the activities involved with the cleaning of Lake Tahoe.

That would also mean to maintain the algae presence in the lake by controlling nutrient input, mainly nitrogen and phosphorus, required for algae bloom. ‘Lake Tahoe has shown us what it needs to be blue and clear again’, says Dr. Schladow, the joint researcher of the team.