Stone Lab Algal and Water Quality Laboratory | Ohio Sea Grant

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Stone Lab Algal and Water Quality Laboratory

Stone Lab's water quality labs offers a lakeside research location for scientists studying harmful algal blooms

The Stone Lab Algal & Water Quality Lab, which opened in 2013, allows researchers to identify plankton, measure chlorophyll content and cyanobacteria toxins, analyze organic and inorganic suspended solids, and test for nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen.

These tests enable scientists to tackle the issue of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie better than ever before.

A new buoy donated by Fondriest Environmental and upgraded with additional equipment through grant funding helps Stone Lab staff monitor water conditions, including harmful algal blooms, in Lake Erie’s western basin.

Buoy Data

Recorded at October 15, 7:00 am
Battery 11.400 V
Air Temp ° C
Relative Humidity %
Relative Barometric Pressure hPa
Wind Speed m/s
Max Wind Speed m/s
Wind Direction ---
Wet Bulb Temp ° C
Precip Type
Rain Intensity cm/h
Total Rain mm
Interval Rain mm
Heading Degree
Surface Water Temp 16.710 ° C
Water Temp 1 Meter 16.680 ° C
Water Temp 61.970 ° F
Specific Conductivity 161.000 uS/cm
Depth of Sensor 0.790 m
Water pH 8.240 pH
Turbidity -0.370 NTU+
Chlorophyll RFU 0.000 RFU
Cyanobacteria RFU CLEAN0.100 RFU
Dissolved O2 Saturation 83.000 %
Dissolved O2 8.080 mg/L
Created at 2018-10-15 07:14:27
Visit Great Lakes Observing System

Query station information and more variables at the HABS Data Portal station website hosted at

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Water Quality Live Data

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Analytical Equipment Available

The new water quality laboratory offers lake researchers the ability to analyze water samples for nutrient concentration, algal biomass, and cyanobacterial toxins. The growth chamber provides researchers the ability for controlled environment conditions for algal growth experiments. The lab is stocked with glassware, balances, filtering manifolds, and pipettes. Deionized water is available at most sinks. Freezer space (-20°C and -80°C ) is available.

  • Barnstead Nanopure Water
  • SEAL 5-Channel Nutrient Analyzer
  • Geneva Growth Chamber
  • Eppendorf Refrigerated Centrifuge
  • Thermo Sci Drying Oven
  • Thermo Sci Muffle Furance
  • Fisher Sci Sonicator
  • BioTek 96-well Plate Reader
  • Shimadzu UV-Vis Spectrophotometer
  • NAPCO Benchtop Autoclave
  • Refrigerator & Freezers (-80°C)
  • Adventure Analytical Balance
  • Pipettes 0.2 µL to 10,000 µL
  • Filter funnels and manifolds
  • Vacuum pumps
  • Mettler Toledo pH meter
  • Stirring hot plate
  • Hot water bath
  • Beakers, flasks, and cylinders
  • General lab supplies

Charter Boat Captains Help Monitor Lake Erie Water Quality

Water samples were collected by charter boat captains and aboard Stone Lab science cruises using a surface-to-2-meter intergraded tube sampler. Samples were analyzed for chlorophyll a (an indicator of algae biomass), microcystin (the toxin produced by cyanobacteria), total phosphorus and nitrogen (indicators of maximum biomass potential), dissolved nitrate, phosphate, and silicate (nutrients available for algae), and total suspended solids (mass of all particulates in the water). The captains record GPS location, water temperature, and Secchi disk depth (indicator of water clarity). The project has been sponsored by Ohio EPA Environmental Education Fund and Surface Water Improvement Fund.