Rotation of the Earth moves the waters of Lake Garda and contributes to its ecosystem

An interesting study by a research group from the universities of Trento and Utrecht confirms that the rotation of the Earth can also strongly influence medium-sized water bodies such as lakes. Specifically, researchers have obtained confirmation by analyzing Lake Garda, a body unique for its physical and environmental characteristics, just for this object of strong tourist flows.

Researchers have discovered that the rotation of our planet modifies, and does so in a fairly significant way, the movement of the water of the lake influencing the mixing of deep waters. Movements that among other things are of fundamental importance for the ecosystem of the lake itself.

The researchers, who studied various hydrodynamic aspects of the lake from 2017 to 2018, discovered that “when the wind blows along the main axis of Lake Garda, the rotation of the Earth causes a secondary circulation that moves the water laterally, from one coast to another. This creates a difference in water temperature between the east coast (Veneto) and the west coast (Lombardy).”

These aspects are important for the ecosystem of the lake because they contribute to the movement of oxygen but also to the movement of nutrients for fish and for the living beings of the lake, making it possible for them to move from the surface to the deeper layers and vice versa in a continuous cycle.

The phenomenon can be observed in particular in the period between February and April, a period during which the water temperature reaches its minimum. During these weeks, this vertical movement reaches its peak, causing these substances to pass from the surface to the bottom of the lake, at a maximum depth of 350 meters.

Among other things, it is a phenomenon that is typical of coastal areas of oceans or very large lakes and the same researchers state that they did not expect to be able to observe it on Lake Garda, a lake that can be considered of medium size.

The study was conducted by Italian researcher Marco Toffolon and Dutch researcher Henk Dijkstra.

Kate Robinson

I am currently working on my postgraduate degree in Journalism at UNSW and contribute content here from time to time. I have had a life-long interest in science and thoroughly enjoy reading through different scientific journals.

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Kate Robinson