Wednesday, September 20, 2017

SearchResearch Challenge (9/20/17): The story behind these bodies of water?

Water covers 75% of our planet... 

... and sometimes it hides a story as well.  In this week's Challenge, we have several locations that are covered in water, and hide their stories.  In each case below, can you figure out what's going on?  Why are each of these locations very interesting? 
1.  What's going on with all of these blue lines in the image below?  You can find this oddly arranged water/earth combination at Google Maps link.  There are several stories to discover here, but first--What is this? Why the strange water shapes? 

2.  Just below is picture of another oddly shaped and oddly colored bodies of water.  Why are these giant oval things such different colors? Maps link

3. While we're in the odd-shapes-and-colors mode, what's going on here?  Why is the water so... red in some places and green in others?  What causes the color changes?  (Like the radio tower Challenge from last week, this is something I see nearly every time I fly into San Francisco.  Big hint: This body of water is never the same color twice...)   

4.  There's a story about the lake below that predates its existence.  Before the lake was formed by building a dam, what was here?  And why would they build a lake on top of it?

5.  Same question as before:  What WAS here... but now you have to cast your search skills back 10,000 years.  What was in this location 10,000 years ago, and why is that interesting?   (This is at lat/long 54.83333333,  2.333333333)

As always, the Challenge is really to find the answer AND tell us HOW you did it!  Did you know the answer off the top of your head?  Or did you have to do a special kind of maps search to figure it out?  

Speaking of stories, starting tomorrow I'll be in an off-the-grid kind of place, doing a bit of research for future SRS Challenges.  I HOPE to be back on September 27th, but it's possible I'll still be off-the-grid.  If so, Don't Panic.  I'll be back to an internet connection soon. 

Until then, bula!  


  1. 1.Your thoughtfully supplied link found Turkey Point Nuclear Power plant owned by Florida Power and Light. So my first hought was that it was cooling water channels. So, [Turkey Point Nuclear] results not immediately helpful so switched to Images and found exactly what I wanted, a nice shot of the canals and labelled so by Getty Images. Further investigation confirmed this.

    2. Being right on the shore I thought of aquaculture but of what? I thought maybe krill for coloring up farmed salmon. so, [Kona aquaculture] finds: Bingo! which has a pix of the facility and tells us in part

    At KDF, algae are cultivated in Cellana’s proprietary hybrid system, using a combination of open seawater ponds and photobioreactors, requiring only carbon dioxide (CO2), sunlight, seawater, and nutrients. Cellana’s technology optimizes conditions for cultivation to improve efficiency using optimal turbulence in the water and the effective use of selected nutrients.

    3. I think we have seen this in the distant past; my guess salt pans. So, [salt pans san francisco] finds As the plane banks to make its final pass before landing at the San Francisco Airport, peeking out of the window will reward you with a view of a vibrantly hued canvas. These bright pond pockets of red and green are caused by the organisms or micro-algae living within them. The microorganisms located in each pond are determined by their tolerance to salinity, and the colors are reactions to salt levels. The whole area is in the process of being returned to nature so enjoy seem them whilst you can.

    4. [Images] finds King Mountain Oklahoma is perfect match. Bingo again! so, [Lake Altus] finds Lake altus-Lugert. links to Wikipedia Lake-Altus. The former town of Lugent was destroyed by a tornado 27 April 1927. It rebuilt but tornadoed so much everybody just left. The Altus Dam is described on same page: The dam, as it stands today, was completed in 1947.

    There is also an extensive system of canals leaving Lake Altus in order to deliver the irrigation water to farmland. Most of these canals and distribution laterals were completed by 1953

    5. I know this one. A glacial lake was here blocked at what is now Dover/Calais. The dam bursted and the immense amount of water flowing through the gap left ripples and such on the bottom of what is now English CHannel, still visible today.
    [north sea glacial lake] finds This expalins that I was not quite correct. The place you marked is now called Doggerland and was part of the land mass that joined now Britain to now Europe. A proto EU I guess.

  2. Those were fun and challenging enough to be interesting too. jontU

    1. Glad you liked them, although the Cellana / Nutrex thing was tricky, I admit.

  3. jtU's comment about the irrigation canals prompted me to look a bit…
    this has a nice picture of the dam from 1927
    area drought in 2013
    Altus Dam
    Bureau of Reclamation - dam list
    hourly data? -
    "These data are gathered electronically and, as presented, have not undergone any form of quality control. These data are not guaranteed to be valid or correct."
    — sounds like an equifax security breach disclaimer…

    Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District

  4. Similar search process to the comment above except I used map features a little more. ie, I moved around the map of the water/land feature until I saw the nuclear power plant and figured it had something to do with that. Originally thought it was filtration which messed up my initial results but saw in one of the blurbs something about "crocodiles in the cooling canals" which tightened up my results. Cool stuff with that was the crocodiles that use it as a hatchery - the plant even has a crocodile manager. Also, lots of problems with the canals leaking and messing with the temperature and salinity of both the ocean ecosystem and the Miami water supply.
    On the Hawaii one, I found Nutrex Hawaii which is a vitamin company which uses spirulina and astaxanthin which are in those colorful vats.
    2 interesting resources on the Dogger Bank one: and

    1. A Marine Gazetteer! I shoulda thought of that. WELL DONE!

  5. future dive…? Silent Cal…
    SS President Coolidge
    SS President Hoover
    sample wreck list:
    list expanded to 15
    off Belgium
    video - lacks the clarity of the south Pacific
    …was wondering — long duration flying mixed with various gas diving ever an issue?

  6. Replies
    1. That's a lovely search for images [ salt ponds ] -- nice!

  7. Hello Dr. Russell and everyone!
    I just saw a video with other example of colored body of water. This time from China due to Algal Bloom.