Scientists have long thought that the blueness of Lake Tahoe was due to the lake’s clarity.
But a new study shows that algae plays an important role.
For the past three years, UC Davis researchers have been measuring the degree of blueness in Lake Tahoe using a NASA research buoy. They compared those results with the lake’s clarity and found something surprising.
“Clarity and blueness are controlled by very different things," says Geoffrey Schladow with the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center.
“Clarity is controlled by very fine particles, dust and clay and silt that are washed into the lake. The blueness is controlled by algae,” says Schladow.