Lake Michigan News

(Photo: Moira Harrington)

Revving Up a New ROV

Historical Society. She packed along bright yellow bags complete with Mylar clipboards used to sketch wrecks and measuring tapes that define watery archaeological sites. Kiefer wasn’t scuba diving for the day, so the group would explore via the ROV.Kiefer had also participated in the 2017 Lake Michigan Denis Sullivan excursion and was happy to reunite with Kurth and Nelson for the day’s quest for underwater treasures.“I learned a lot from the teachers on that cruise and I want to continue that learning,” Kiefer said. She said she was looking forward to seeing how the educators

© BJ Ray / Adobe Stock

How Could a ‘Sand Motor’ Help the Great Lakes?

;   Shea, a sophomore from Holmen, Wis., who is majoring in civil and environmental engineering, will present her findings at UW-Madison's Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 13.    Major questions under consideration include whether a Dutch-style sand motor could work along Lake Michigan and what implementation challenges it might present. "It's a rough, theoretical, 'Is this worth looking into?' type of study," said Shea.   While bluff erosion is a concern, lack of bluff erosion can also be problematic. "Using traditional gray seawalls and those kinds of

Quagga mussels (Photo: GLERL-NOAA)

Tiny Quagga Mussels Have a Big Impact

Tiny quagga mussels have a big impact on Lake Michigan . . . and perhaps climate change.   As prior researchers have demonstrated, Wisconsin Sea Grant researchers further confirm that the tiny quagga mussel has an outsize impact on Lake Michigan. What’s novel about the study team’s work is the exploration of the age-old biological truth: what goes in must come out. They found the invasive mussels’ sheer numbers and feeding efficiency are changing the lake’s ecosystem dynamics, and perhaps the climate, as well.   Laodong Guo and his graduate student Stephen DeVilbiss

(Photo: NOAA)

Proposed Sanctuaries Aim to Protect Historic Shipwrecks

nationally significant shipwrecks, including those from the 1800s, World War I and other maritime battlegrounds. The sanctuaries were originally proposed to NOAA in 2014, and if created would be the first since 2000. In Wisconsin, NOAA is proposing to designate a 1,075-square-mile area of Lake Michigan adjacent to Manitowoc, Sheboygan and Ozaukee counties that holds 37 known shipwrecks including Wisconsin's two oldest known shipwrecks discovered to date – the Gallinipper (1833) and the Home (1843). As many as 80 shipwrecks are still yet to be discovered in the proposed sanctuary. The

MBARI engineer Brian Kieft with researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on board the USGS vessel with the Tethys LRAUV, in the southern portion of Lake Michigan (Credit: Brett Hobson © 2016 MBARI)

AUV Mission in the Great Lakes

Science Center – which studies the Lakes’ living resources and their habitats – recently teamed up with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) to observe plankton communities in a project that seeks to improve upon traditional research methods by, for the first time in Lake Michigan, adding an AUV to the mix.   Conventional sampling technology for this type of study has typically involved some kind of vessel with nets, explained Dr. David Warner, a research fisheries biologist with the USGS Great Lakes Science Center, who said traditional methods are not only less

Size-frequency distributions for meteotsunamis for each Great Lake. (Credit: Bechle, A. J. et al. Meteotsunamis in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Sci. Rep. 6, 37832; doi: 10.1038/srep37832 (2016).)

Meteotsunamis: An Underrated Hazard in the Great Lakes

engineering, analyzed 20 years of data from 32 water-level stations on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes. Most meteotsunamis occur in late spring to early summer, coinciding with the beginning of the recreational season on the lakes. Most occur in the southwest part of the Great Lakes, with Lake Michigan having the most and lakes Ontario and Superior having the least. The results were published in the Nov. 24 issue of Scientific Reports.    The timing of most meteotsunamis is cause for concern. “Because it coincides with the beginning of summer swimming and recreation, this

First Keillor Fellow in Place: Adam Bechle

the information. I’m interested in translating science into community resilience.”   Bechle will be working from the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program Office in Madison. One of his first duties will be a field trip to learn more about erosion issues at the Kenosha Sand Dunes on Lake Michigan. He will also be updating the Wisconsin Sea Grant Coastal Processes Manual, which was written by Keillor. Bechle will be working with current Wisconsin Sea Grant Coastal Engineer Gene Clark to incorporate advances in coastal resilience understanding and practice into the manual.   &ldquo

Returning to the Scene of the Shipwrecks

;It’ll be cool to see the students go through the process of surveying a ship and figuring everything out,” said Kiefer. “When I mapped a shipwreck last year, it was in shallow water, and that was the big challenge. For this year’s group, it’ll be the water temperature. Lake Michigan can get pretty cold.”    The summer gig’s a natural evolution for a woman who’s always loved shipwrecks. Kiefer fell in love with the waters of Lake Michigan while growing up in North Central Indiana. In 2007, while working on an undergraduate degree in anthropology

Image: Teledyne Optech

Coastal Mapping Tech in Focus at Shallow Survey

bathymetric lidar technology, resulting in CZMIL’s advanced capabilities. JALBTCX spent the summer testing several types of bathymetric lidar sensors, and Macon will discuss their results.   Teledyne Optech exhibit examples of bathymetry work from CZMIL in turbid water in Asia and Lake Michigan, where HydroFusion’s Turbid Water Module improved bottom detection even in locations with inflowing rivers. In the clearer conditions around Hawaii, JALBTCX performed a production survey of over 1,500 kilometers of coastline with CZMIL, ranging from 300 meters inland to 1,000 meters offshore

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