Automatic lake monitoring buoys

A monitoring buoy on Loch LevenAdvances in computer and sensor technology allow us to collect relevant data at minute timescales which match the timescales of important lake processes.

We maintain six automatic lake monitoring stations within the UK (four in Cumbria, Loch Leven in Scotland and Llyn Conwy in Wales). Three feature state-of-the-art depth profiling systems.

A spatial network not only provides detailed information about functions within a lake but also on the extent of coherent behaviour across lakes and their comparative sensitivity to weather patterns. Each monitoring buoy carries a range of meteorological instruments, including air temperature, solar radiation, wind speed and direction and relative humidity.

Underwater sensors also measure temperature at twelve depths, as well as dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, chlorophyll a and underwater light near the surface. Such instrumentation allows us to explore high resolution physical and ecological interactions.

Our bespoke downloading and databasing system allows data to be telemetered back to our laboratory, enabling us to check the condition of a lake or reservoir in real-time.

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Prof Stephen Maberly

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  • Research Facility

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