Blue Lake, one of the largest lakes on North Stradbroke Island, southeast of Brisbane, has been the focus of research examining the lake's response to environmental change over time.
A panoramic photo of Blue Lake on North Stradbroke Island, Queensland, Australia. The lake has been relatively untouched by changes in climate for the past 7000 years
Researchers studied the lake's water discharge, water quality and comparisons of historical photos over the past 117 years, as well as fossil pollen and algae to better understand its history over the past 7500 years.
The results, published online in the journal Freshwater Biology, show that Blue Lake has remained relatively stable and resilient for millennia.
"Blue Lake is one of those rare, beautiful lakes in Australia. It's unusual because it's more than 10 metres deep but it's so clear you can see to the bottom," says the lead author of the study, Dr Cameron Barr from the University's Discipline of Geography, Environment and Population.
"We didn't realize just how unique and unusual this lake is until we started looking at a wide range of environmental markers.
"We know that there have been variations in climate in the region including North Stradbroke Island over recent decades, but during that time the depth, shoreline and water chemistry of Blue Lake has displayed little variation.
"We also know that the region experienced a significant shift towards a drier climate around 4000 years ago. Again, Blue Lake has demonstrated little variation over this period. This is in stark contrast to other changes in the region due to shifts in climate.
"It appears that Blue Lake has been an important climate 'refuge' for the freshwater biota of the region, and is in the same condition now as it was 7500 years ago. With appropriate management, the lake could continue relatively unchanged for hundreds, possibly thousands of years to come," Dr Barr says.
Project leader and co-author Dr John Tibby, also from the University of Adelaide, says the results of this research could affect decision making about utilising the freshwater aquifer of North Stradbroke Island as a source of fresh water for the mainland.
"Our study suggests that increased extraction of ground water represents one of the few obvious threats to the stability of Blue Lake. The threat this could pose to the lake's status as a stable freshwater refuge needs serious consideration if the regional aquifer of North Stradbroke Island is to be contemplated," Dr Tibby says.
Media Contacts:Dr Cameron Barr
Dr John Tibby | Newswise
Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel
Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
20.02.2018 | Life Sciences
20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering
20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy