Phytoplankton

POTOMAC BLUEGREENS IN AUGUST
Low Flow Events

3-d chart of potomac blue greens for low flow periods

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Blue green algal blooms are historically dominated by the plant Microcystis.  Low flow events represented by 1985 (10,373 cfs*), 1992 (11,139 cfs*) and 1995 (11,056 cfs*) are characterized by bloom peaks around the Indianhead area with the highest blooms coming in 1985.

*cfs stands for cubic feet per second and is used to measure the amount of flow.

POTOMAC BLUEGREENS IN AUGUST
High Flow Events

3-d chart of potomac blue green algae during high flow years

High flow events, represented by 1984 (23,278 cfs*), 1994 (25,114 cfs*) and 1996 (highest ever flows due to Hurricane Fran) have bloom peaks farther down stream than Indian Head during the low flow years. In 1996, the peak is just down stream of Smith Point. Even though the 1996 flows on the Potomac are the highest ever recorded, the blue green blooms are significantly less than 1994 and 1984.

This page was created by Walter L. Butler please send an email if you have any comments or suggestions.

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