|Nearshore Water Quality at Lake Tahoe|
Lake Tahoe is a mountain lake on the border of California and Nevada that is famed for the clarity of its water. Lake Tahoe’s large surface area (33 km by 17 km), moderately high elevation (1,887 m), and great depth (498 m) make it unique among lakes in the United States. We are investigating the water clarity of Lake Tahoe's near shore zone, the area of the lake that is most affected by onshore disturbances. Except for atmospheric deposition directly to the lake, all the clarity reducing materials such as nutrients and particles that enter the lake pass through the near-shore zone.
We define the near shore zone as starting at a water depth of 1 m and extending offshore for 100 m or to a water depth of 30 m, whichever offshore distance is greater. This definition purposely excludes the beach-water interface where re-suspension of bottom sediment by waves may be a major process.
Our investigations of water clarity are conducted using a variety of sensors, including turbidty, light attenuation, and relative chlorophyll. We are currently utilizing measurements collected aboard a buoy near Incline Village, NV and from the Desert Research Institute's research vessel the Mt. Rose.
Current and previous research is supported by several organizations, including Nevada Division of State Lands, the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, Desert Research Institute, and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. We would also like to thank Sand Harbor State Park, Incline Village General Improvement District, Tahoe Keys Marina, and the Tahoe City Marina.
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