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Eagle Creek Reservoir

Spring rhymes with the beginning of the sampling season for CEES.

The season opening was supposed to start today but unfortunately the bad weather conditions did not allow us to sample Eagle Creek Reservoir. Due to strong wind gusts reaching 28 mph and a wind chill of 37F, the field trip was postponed to tomorrow.

However, today's unfavorable conditions for on-boat outside work allowed us to witness a not so common phenomenon for a small water body. On the picture below, you can see linear white foamy streaks on the surface of the reservoir. The wind causes the formation of rotating cells that parallel the surface. The cell axes are typically aligned along the wind direction but a slight deviation of 0-20 degrees is often observed. This phenomenon is called Langmuir Circulation (Wiki Link). In lakes, the typical depth of Langmuir cells is 4-6 meters (13-20 feet) and the horizontal spacing of the cells can vary from 3 to 50 meters apart. The length of the cells can reach several hundreds of meters. 

Eagle Creek Reservoir on 4/24/2013 (©Mike Stouder for CEES)


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