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Keoka High-Resolution Temperature Monitoring

The water column of Keoka Lake was weakly stratified when sensors were deployed on May 3. Stratification became more distinct as water temperatures increased throughout May and into early June. Surface water temperatures decreased in mid-June before increasing steadily from mid-June through late July. Surface water temperatures began to cool in mid-August, warmed again in early September, and began the gradual late-season cool down from mid-September through October. During the summer months, little temperature change was seen in Back Pond’s deep waters, creating large temperature differences between shallow and deep waters. This large temperature difference limits cooler, nutrient-rich deep waters from mixing with warmer surface waters. When these two layers mix, it provides algae with an additional food source. Please note that the watershed can still contribute phosphorus to the lake, regardless of stratification. Full mixing had not yet occurred when sensors were retrieved in late October

The following events can be seen in the graph below:

  1. Early season data show a gradual temperature increase beginning in May followed by a cool period in early June.
  2. Surface water temperature increases from mid-June throughout July with peak temperature occurring on July 8 (27.3°C/ 81.1 °F).
  3. Surface waters began cooling slightly throughout August before reaching near peak temperatures in early September.
  4. Shallow waters mix with waters from the middle depths, pushing the thermocline deeper into the water column.
  5. Temperatures throughout the water column are becoming more uniform but temperature differences in the deep waters indicate that full mixing has not yet occurred.
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