Bathymetric Mapping and Sonar Imaging of Tufa at Green Lakes: Fayetteville, New York
The Fayetteville Green Lakes State Park, located in Fayetteville, New York, consists of two deep (48 m+), meromictic (non-mixing) lakes with unique limnological, bacterial, and chemical characteristics. These lakes, named Round Lake and its larger companion Green Lake, have been extensively studied for nearly 200 years because of their unique character. The lake water contains two distinct layers, the oxygen-rich mixolimnion and the anoxic monimolimnion divided by the chemocline (a chemical compositional boundary). Tufa deposits exist along the shorelines of both lakes at various depths and are a product of groundwater output into the lakes, as well as the lakes’ unique water chemistry and microbial communities. Here, we use sonar imaging techniques to produce updated bathymetric maps of Green and Round Lake, and provide the first detailed characterization of the near-shore environment using side-scanning sonar imagery to determine the locations and morphologies of tufa deposits. We also document shoreline debris specifically large tree trunks and branches which have fallen into the lake over time and are frequently encrusted. We identified fourteen locations of tufa ranging from large formations (10s of meters long) to small tufa heads (~1 m) in Green Lake. Our updated bathymetry and documentation of tufa locations and geometry expand on an extensive history of prior work, will aid future investigators by revealing lesser-known tufa localities, and will assist the Fayetteville Green Lakes State Park with monitoring and conservation efforts for this ecologically unique area.