Green and Black Water at Lake Michigan

Bill's Blog

Here’s an interesting picture. This is the South Haven Channel Monday afternoon. Look at the different colors of the water. The water coming out of the Channel is dark-colored. The water of Lake Michigan is a lighter greenish color. Several factors come into play here. Pure water is clear. The water of a lake will usually reflect the color of the sky…blue when it is clear in the daytime and gray when it is cloudy. When the sky is black at night, the water is also black.

The Black River empties out through the South Haven Channel. It was called the Black River because the sediment and organic material in the river gave it a dark-color.

The Great Lakes can get algae that can give the water a greenish hue (it’s safe, you can swim in it). Also the angle of the light hitting the water, the angle of the camera, the type of camera can enhance the color difference.

Anytime of the year, you can click on the GLERL cameras (from NOAA Coastwatch) and see what it looks like at Muskegon, S. Haven, Michigan City, Chicago, Alpena and nearby Thunder Bay Island. BTW, I wrote about this before on the blog.

Also: Lake Michigan’s water is “cleaner” than it was 20 years ago.

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