Ashley Natt/The University of AdelaideBlue Lake is located off the coast of Queensland.Blue Lake on Australia’s North Stradbroke Island has barely changed in the last 7,000 years, a scientific rarity given the impact of environmental changes and man-made global warming on freshwater ecosystems worldwide over the course of history.
In a study published in the journal Freshwater Biology on April 26, researchers from University of Adelaide looked at historical aerial photographs, models of annual lake discharge, water quality, and fossil samples of pollen and algae over the past 117 years to see how the lake has changed over time.
Even though this region has experienced major shifts in climate over time — it became much drier about 4,000 years ago — the lake’s depth of around 33 feet is about the same as it was 7,500 years ago. It has remained so clean, that you can still see to the bottom, lead author of the study Cameron Barr said in a statement.
“We know that there have been variations in climate in the region including North Stradbroke Island over recent decades, but during that time the depth, shoreline, and water chemistry of Blue Lake has displayed little variation,” said Barr.
Since Blue Lake has remained relatively untouched for hundreds of centuries, it has served as a key “climate refuge” for the region’s freshwater organisms, according to the study authors
If the lake continues to resist human-induced change, it can do the same for hundreds or thousands of more years, says Barr.
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