In addition to the rising water level, water quality is another issue that has to be considered in mitigating the Devils Lake flood impact. The overall salinity level, particularly that of sulfate, are significantly higher than those of the surrounding water bodies of Sheyenne River and Red River, limiting the amount of water from Devils Lake that can be released into the Sheyenne River. Funded by a NASA project studying water quality in the Devils Lake, a buoy is deployed in the Devils Lake to monitor the change of water quality including temperature, salinity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen level, and chlorophyll concentration. The weather parameters of wind speeds and direction, atmospheric pressure and air temperature are also monitored. The results, together with other observation of regional weather and land change, will help us to better understand how the quality of water changes in response to the weather and long term climate changes.
The sampling takes place every 10 minutes and the measurements are transmitted to the server every 30 minutes through wireless. Occasionally, data may not be transmitted due to signal loss. But the missing data will be downloaded once the connection is established during the following cycle.
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