Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory shows algae blooms in Lake Burrinjuck and the Murrumbidgee River in New South Wales.
Lake Burrinjuck attracts people for fishing and water skiing this time of year in Australia, but authorities have issued warnings to stay out of the water since late January 2021.
Blue-green algae, which is also known as cyanobacteria, appear as greenish clumps on the surface of the water.
Algae blooms can be fatal for pets, and can cause illness such as vomiting and stomach issues in humans. The algae also poses a threat to the lake’s fish, such as the golden perch, Murray cod, and rainbow trout.
According to NASA, if the concentrations of algae and bacteria are high enough, the process can deplete oxygen concentrations in the water and cause fish to suffocate.
State-owned water supplier WaterNSW said the algae blooms are somewhat unusual since the lake is located in a cooler part of the state and the Burrinjuck Dam recently received a large inflow of water. However, the inflows may have carried in nutrients from other areas.
The image was captured on February 10,2021 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory