Lakes give up secrets of past

Susie Wood, co-leader of the Lakes 380 project, and University of Otago PhD student Lena...
Susie Wood, co-leader of the Lakes 380 project, and University of Otago PhD student Lena Schallenberg sample sediment in Lake Hayes for environmental DNA work. PHOTO SUPPLIED.
Samples collected from Queenstown lakes by scientists have revealed thousands of years of history.

University of Otago paleoclimatologist Chris Moy said he and his team discovered information on changes to the climate, environment and ecosystems last week.

"We also collected some water samples that document modern processes in the lakes today," Dr Moy said.

The sampling was part of a nationwide project called "Lakes 380: Our Lakes’ Health: Past, Present, Future".

Marcus Vandergoes, co-leader of the Lakes 380 project from GNS Science, and Otago University’s...
Marcus Vandergoes, co-leader of the Lakes 380 project from GNS Science, and Otago University’s Chris Moy recover a sediment core from Lake Johnson. PHOTO SUPPLIED

The five-year undertaking is the biggest scientific study of New Zealand’s lakes and the findings will be used to help work on improving water quality.

Between Thursday and Sunday, scientists conducted studies at Lakes Hayes, Johnson, Moke, Dispute, Kirkpatrick and Wakatipu.

Water samples, surface samples and lake sediment cores all revealed different phases of the lake’s history.

Sediment cores were to be analysed at a University of Otago laboratory, to uncover around a thousands years of information.

The study is named after an ambition to sample 380 lakes — a 10th of the country’s total.

matthew.mckew@odt.co.nz

 

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