Approximately every 10 days TERC researchers exchange a bucket atop a large research buoy located near the middle of Lake Tahoe. The bucket is partially filled with deionized water and collects atmospheric deposition occurring onto the lake (as rain, snow and "dry" deposition of gaseous and particulate material). At the end of the collection period, the water is analyzed by TERC labs to estimate atmospheric deposition of nitrogen and phosphorus to the lake surface.
Monitoring of atmospheric deposition is important for understanding its role in degradation of the lake and for use in watershed management. Atmospheric deposition contributes about 55% of the total nitrogen, 15% of the total phosphorus and 15% of the total fine (<20µm) particles to the lake, all of which impact clarity.
Funding and support: Tahoe Regional Planning Agency