Help me research/study a lake?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by .JahJahwarrior., Nov 2, 2008.

  1. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

    Jan 1, 2007
    I want to do some research at a lake on my college campus, and people here keep promising to put me in touch with someone who can help me, but they never really end up doing anything.

    I want to eventually:
    -map the lake for depth, creating a quality, displayable map
    -periodically measure water quality
    --things like dissolved solids/metals, oxygen, nitrates, turbidity, and temperature
    -record the life around the lake, plants and animals and such

    I know very little about this kind of stuff, but want to go ahead and start collecting data and working on this project so I can have findings to present, along with that map, in a spring research showcase.

    Anyone here know anything about this kind of stuff? It's not a very large lake. I believe I've heard the surface area is 22 acres. It's about 14 feet deep at most. No one knows much about it at all. There is one alligator, he's about 5.5 feet long and I've gotten within 20 feet of him but he's shy. (whichis a good thing...)

    I figure I can start by dropping thermometers in the lake, then once every few days go pull them up and see what the temperature is. Should I put one every 3 feet on the rope? What should I use on the bottom to hold the thing in position? I figure I should submerge the top of the thing by about 2 or 3 feet, at which point it won't really be visible. Otherwise, I worry that it'll get pulled out of the lake by some students. Anyone have an idea for how to do this simply, while still having it be easy to pull up?

    I was thinking I could use a few cinder blocks or something on the bottom, maybe just one. Then on top, use a small fender, and tie a large plastic hoop on the top of that which I could grab easily with a hook.

    I'm open to ideas and suggestions.... Why post this here? Eh, large diverse community of people, maybe someone here has done something like this before?

    Lake is located in Orlando, Florida.
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    If it were in Georgia, I would suggest contacting the County Extension Agent, but I don't know if something like that exists in Florida or not.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  3. juanster macrumors 68020


    Mar 2, 2007
    Do you have a canoe to go in? I ve never done this b4, but i do fish alot, maybe someone can let you borrow a good fish finder, you ll be able to gets ome pretty acurate depth levels on teh lake and map it as you canoe your way around... for the temperature, i dont see why it would be necesary to leav eit overnight, why dont you just anchor in differnet spots in the lake, grab a long string with a pretty hevy fishing sinker at the end and one or two termometers attached ot it.. thow it down, wait a coupel minutes, bring it back fast, record reading and do it again at different depths...hope that helps?:)
  4. .JahJahwarrior. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 1, 2007
    Yes, I do have access to boats on the lake, they let students use them for free.

    You might be right, it might not be necessary to leave them in all the time...

    I think I could get more accurate readings with a rope with a knot tied every 6 inches and a heavy weight on the end, but it takes much more work, taking a measurement every few feet, then pairing that with longitude and latitude from a gps unit....ugh. I think the pros use sonar :)
  5. juanster macrumors 68020


    Mar 2, 2007
    yeah, the only reason I suggested a fish finder was because also, if there are currents in this little lake thne your readings may be wrong (depth and temperature by depth) because the rope with your measurememnts/thermometers won t be going on the right angle down...
  6. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    There must be some sort of depth finder that can link that data to GPS data.
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Water quality? Are you going to test it for living organisms, or for mineral content (e.g. sodium, chlorine, magnesium.....)? It's probably far easier to test for living organisms, because the easiest way to calculate mineral content would require low energy neutrons, and most likely, a nuclear reactor.....
  8. jk111 macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2007
    Some info


    Check out

    I live on one of those lakes and they have a special device in the water that plots different data every once and a while. Not sure if this helps, but I'm trying to give you an example


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