Satellite Views of Toxic Algae Bloom in Lake Erie

Posted on October 14, 2011

Lake Erie Algae Bloom Satellite Image 10 05 11


Lake Erie is experiencing its worst algae bloom in decades. A rainy spring and invasive mussels are two of the suspects for the large toxic algae bloom. The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory says the algae bloom is primarily microcystis aeruginosa, which is toxic to mammals. It produces microcystin, a liver toxin that can kill small dogs and cause skin irritation in humans.

Lake Erie Algae Bloom Satellite Image 10 05 11


NASA reports that Richard Stumpf, an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, measured 50 times more microcystin in Lake Erie in the summer of 2011 than the World Health Organization recommends for safe recreation.

You can find larger versions of the satellite images here.

Photos: NASA's Earth Observatory