Category: News (page 1 of 3)

Neuse River Update- An early start to hurricane season with Tropical Storms Arthur and Bertha

Hi all,
The estuary is fresher now due to all the rain from Arthur and Bertha but the tip of the salt wedge still extends almost to New Bern. A strong pycnocline occurred at about 4 m depth at stations upstream of station 120 and at about 5 m at the lower stations. Bottom waters were hypoxic (< 2 mg/L) at station 50 -120, and were <4 mg/L at the lower stations. There was a zone of high surface chlorophyll from stations 70 to 120. Microscopic examination of station 120 surface water where chlorophyll was greatest showed that the bloom was dominated by the dinoflagellate, Gyrodinium instriatum (more correctly known as Lavanderina fissa). This dinoflagellate is our most common summer-time bloom former in the Neuse and is not known to produce toxins. The other phytoplankton in the sample were a mix of cryptophytes, small diatoms, and smaller dinoflagellates.

Tropical Storm Arthur

Tropical Storm Arthur passed through ENC early Monday morning and dropped 3.36 in of rain in 0.5 hours (1:20am – 1:50am) recorded by Dr. Hans Paerl’s personal rain gauge. The photo above shows data output from the rain gauge showing the relative wind speed, wind direction, and rainfall. You can see more local weather reports of TS Arthur on the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS). Hans’s report is also recorded on the CoCoRaHS site under the station name Beaufort 1.6 ENE and number NC-CR-151.

Neuse River Update

Hi all,
Since I’ve last reported on conditions in the Neuse River Estuary our world has changed a lot more than it has. Nothing exceptional to report water quality-wise. The high chl-a at stations 120 and 140 during March were likely remnants of the dinoflagellate bloom noticed in February. I’ll find out once I’m able to get back to the lab. Y’all stay safe and well.

ModMon Neuse River Estuary Conditions

Hi all,
That line of strong storms with torrential rains on Feb 6 and 7th has increased Neuse River flows to about five times their average for this time of year. The turbid (>20 NTU) flood waters are clearly evident upstream of New Bern (stations 0-30).  Downstream of New Bern, the estuary was highly stratified. Waters are quite warm for this time of year and bottom water DO was well below saturation from station 50 to 100. A near surface zone of elevated chl-a (~30 ug/L) occurred at station 160.
Best regards,

UK DOM Symposium – “Hurricane Talk”

Dr. Hans Paerl recently presented at the “Theo Murphy international scientific meeting” for dissolved organic matter in freshwaters to talk about The “new normal” of catastrophic tropical cyclone flooding in Coastal North Carolina (USA): Implications for organic matter and nutrient cycling. To view the full presentation click here


PhD students Haley Plaas and Malcolm Barnard are assisting with SciREN-Coast this year. SciREN-Coast is a community of educators and researchers based in eastern North Carolina who share resources to promote science literacy in today’s youth. Haley is a member of the logistics team and Malcolm is a member of the education team. To learn more about SciREN-Coast and their upcoming events click here. 

Are Toxic Cyanobacterial Blooms Affecting the Air We Breathe?

PhD student Haley Plaas recently gave a talk at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences about how air quality might be impacted by cyanobacteria toxin production. You can watch her presentation here.

Methane Producing Blue-Green Algae

Dr. Hans Paerl was quoted in an article for The Scientist about blue-green algae and methane. Click  here to read the full article.

Blue-Green Algae Produce Methane       A colony of cyanobacteria from Lake Stechlin taken by Prof Hans-Peter Grossart

“Alegae”, the Beverage of Choice for the Lake Erie Project

Dr. Hans Paerl was gifted the new beverage of choice for the Lake Erie Project. “Creature from the Alegae Bloom” is brewed by Maumee Bay Brewing Company

IMS scientists, give close-up look at Neuse River research

Faculty members from UNC-Chapel Hill got a first-hand look at the work done by the school’s Institute for Marine Sciences (IMS) in Morehead City during a tour of the Neuse River Thursday.

Dr. Nathan Hall demonstrates monitoring water quality on the Neuse River

Click the link below to read the full article!

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