Lake Erie turns into a ghostly green hue due to the harmful algal bloom

Here are the striking satellite images of the Lake Erie in North America that has turned into a ghostly shade of green, likely due to a harmful algal bloom.

These images were taken by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) onboard the Landsat 8 satellite on September 26, 2017. There were also pilots that flew over Lake Erie in the summer to map out the general scope of harmful algal blooms throughout the western basin.

Lake Erie algal bloom

The algal bloom was reported to start last July of this year in Maumee Bay, and is said to be caused by phosphorus draining into the lake from agricultural or industrial sources. The algae that’s affected by the phosphorus then undergoes eutrophication, or a “feeding frenzy” when it enters the water.

The bloom has then gradually spread towards the east and the north within the lake’s western basin, affecting as well the shores of Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario.

algal bloom Lake Erie

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the bloom contains Microcystis, which is a kind of freshwater cyanobacteria that produces toxins that can contaminate drinking water and even pose a risk to human health. They can cause skin irritation and respiratory distress, and can even cause the lakes to stink due to their being starved of oxygen.

algal bloom

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