Mössbauerite: Natural Water Purifier
Image: Aerial view of Reindeer Island, Lake Winnipeg, Canada, from space, 2017. The swirling shades of green in the water indicates a toxic algal bloom. Photographer: European Space Agency. Source: Flickr.
Curation notes by: Stuart Mills, Senior Curator Geology Museums Victoria with Lucinda Horrocks, Wind & Sky Productions.Contributors
Image: This image has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license (CC BY-SA 2.0). Text: This written material has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0).Copyright
Copyright in image with European Space Agency. Copyright in text with Museums Victoria.
Reducing the amount of nitrate in global waters could significantly help prevent algal blooms.
Recently Dr Stuart Mills, Senior Curator, Geosciences, Museum Victoria, along with Prof Jean-Marie Génin (University of Lorraine), Dr Andrew Christy (University of Queensland) and Dr. Odile Guérin (Sorbonne) discovered a mineral, mössbauerite, which could be a natural solution to purifying water that is affected by excess nitrate.
Nitrate pollution is caused by fertilizer runoff and is a major global problem responsible for algal blooms, which are a serious contaminant of many of the world’s water resources, including the Murray-Darling Basin.
Algal blooms are predicted to get more severe as climate change progresses. The increasing effects of climate change such as warmer water temperatures, increased freshwater salinity due to drought, sea level rises, higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and increased nutrient runoff from intense flooding are predicted to create conditions perfect for the growth of algae and lead to more algal blooms.
Pictured here is an aerial view of Reindeer Island, Lake Winnipeg, Canada, taken by the European Space Agency in 2017. The swirling shades of green in the water indicates a toxic algal bloom.
Curation notes by: Stuart Mills, Senior Curator Geology Museums Victoria with Lucinda Horrocks, Wind & Sky Productions.