Madi and I did not get much done yesterday. We ran a few programs on some of our images and had Di load another one of his fabulous codes onto our temporary user logins. (I still need to check that out.) Dr. Messenger is planning to send the powerpoint presentation sometime at the end of this week or beginning of next week and needs one blur and divide (or subtract) and an ACE or MF. ( Adoptive Coherence/Cosine Estimator and Spectral Match Filter. I know I know. I'm throwing these acronyms around and not explaining them. Both of these last two acronyms helps to find the center of data clusters (spectral coordinates of pixels). It helps with pixel/ color classification and identification stuff).
I had a huge headache after participating in a color imaging science experiment and then listening to the weekly Wednesday talk. The experiment brought me back to my photography class (again) and how a good picture is taken and what it would look like. (Thank you Mrs. Burger. Everyone who has had you at Brighton misses you a lot.) It took me 1/2 and hour to complete in a dark room setting. Niels went later and was 15 minutes late since he couldn't find the building : P. Ah well. I did volunteer to to take him there.
The weekly talk was about one of the professor's studies in Africa. He was looking at the dynamics of the Lake Kivu System in terms of biodiversity, terrain, and environment effects.
- Apparently there is about $20 billion worth of Methane trapped in the bottom layers of water in the lake that locals can benefit from. The lake is stable due to horizontal water circulation instead of vertical water circulation (water molecules continue to move as they normally would, just in a different direction). The water temperature gets warmer as one moves deeper into Lake Kivu, probably due to nearby, underground running magma. Due to this and immense pressure, methane and CO2 are dissolved in the water in the deeper levels of the lake. With different temperature levels and different pressure levels, different amounts of CO2, methane, and other minerals and gasses are dissolved in different water depths and maintain different layers due to different densities. (Run on. Sorry.)
- The biodiversity is low in this lake probably due to methane release into the water when the lower levels of the water are churned/ mixed up. This action would destabilize the water in the lake and the different materials dissolved in the different levels would float up to the upper 50 meters of the lake, killing much of the water-life (Cichlid fish species and algae). Some of the different species of Cichlid fish would have managed to survive such events and continue to reproduce. Thus there are only about 15 species of this fish in Lake Kivu while Lake Kivu's run-off and children lakes hold over double the number of Cichlid species.
- Other parts of Africa had similar concerns about the trapped methane in lakes. Lake Nyos in Cameroon endured a land slide that deposited a lot of sediment into the bottom of the lake. Nyos is way more shallow than Kivo, so much of the methane trapped beneath the water was released due to the resulting vertical circulation and into the river valley close to Nyos. Over 1500 people died from methane inhalation plus wildlife.
- Another concern is if volcano lava from nearby volcanoes could ignite methane-saturated lakes if lava were to flow into the lake (it happened before in 2006 or so). The observed lake from around 2006 was alright when large amounts of the nearby volcano lava flowed straight into it because the lava only traveled about 100 meters deep (the lake in question was I think over 300 meters or something.) So the people living in the city and other areas on along the coast were safe (other than the 75 people who died when the liquidy lava field rushed into the city at 70 mph). It is possible however that magma can leak into the lake from the lower levels though.
- The professor and his team took some sediment-core samples and found that Lake Kivu has the most diverse and abruptly striated sediment layers.
- The locals have already begun methane extraction from the lake and had to revise their plans slightly as to limit the amount of vertical circulation. (Vertical circulation=lake instability=methane released from solution=mass death).