Tuesday, June 10, 2008

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Lake Malawi

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Lake Malawi (Nyasa), the third-largest lake in Africa, is an essential water resource for Malawi, Mozambique, and United Republic of Tanzania. A 2003 study indicated that sediments and nutrients from densely settled areas surrounding Lake Malawi (Nyasa) are entering lake waters, increasing nutrient loading by as much as 50 per cent.

In these images, the bluish green swirls in the lake are algae blooms caused by these excess nutrients. Among other things, the algae reduce dissolved oxygen levels in the water. This poses a threat to the lake's fish species. The algae blooms appear worse in 2006 (note their concentration along the lake's western shore, yellow arrow), suggesting that water quality may be continuing to decline.
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