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Purdue researchers study Lake Michigan currents

WEST LAFAYETTE – Purdue University researchers plan to study how Lake Michigan currents transport contaminants and aquatic life by tracking a fluorescent plume of dyed water.

A five-member team including four students will spend a week starting Sunday conducting research aboard a boat.

Civil engineering assistant professor Cary Troy says the research could help predict where a contaminant spill in the Great Lakes would go and how it would dissipate. Findings also could help better understand movement of organisms such as plankton and fish larvae.

Troy says the data will be used to improve computer models of how objects are circulated and transported in the Great Lakes.

The research vessel is operated with funding from the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System, a group of academic institutions and national laboratories involved in oceanographic research.