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Project EDDIE: Lake Mixing Module

Project Summary

Stratified lakes exhibit vertical gradients in organisms, nutrients, and oxygen, which have important implications for ecosystem structure and functioning. Mixing disrupts these gradients by redistributing these materials throughout the water column. Consequently, it is critical to understand the drivers of lake mixing and thermal stratification, especially because of the sensitivity of lake thermal conditions to altered climate. In this module, students will explore spatial and temporal patterns of lake mixing using high-frequency temperature data from lakes around the world. They will also explore how increases in air temperature affect thermal stratification by interpreting output from a lake model. Project EDDIE modules are designed with an A-B-C structure to make them flexible and adaptable to a range of student levels and course structures.


We recognize that many users might wish to modify this activity. Please include text in each file that you use that acknowledges the original development of this module. We suggest this text, which is currently included in each file:

"This module was initially developed by Carey, C.C., J.L. Klug, and R.L. Fuller. 1 August 2015. Project EDDIE: Dynamics of Lake Mixing. Project EDDIE Module 3, Version 1. Module development was supported by NSF DEB 1245707."


Please cite this module as: "Carey, C.C., J.L. Klug, and R.L. Fuller. 1 August 2015. Project EDDIE: Dynamics of Lake Mixing. Project EDDIE Module 3, Version 1."

Class Time

This entire module can be completed in one 3 hour lab period for introductory students or two 60 minute lecture periods for intermediate-level students. Activities A and B could be completed with upper level students in one 60 minute lecture period. Students will need 1-2 hours outside of class to prepare for the exercise and complete the homework activities.

Class Context

This module has been used in several Freshwater Ecology and Limnology courses (Parts A and B for lower-level courses; Parts A, B, and C for upper-level courses). Module materials can be tailored to increase or decrease the background information depending on students' quantitative skills.


  • Instructor's Manual [docx]
  • Instructor's PowerPoint [ppt]
  • Lake Mixing Figures [doc]
  • Student Handout [docx]
  • Dataset [xlsx]
  • Dataset - Instructor's Version [xlsx]

Project Support

Project EDDIE is supported by funding from NSF DEB 1245707. Project EDDIE is sponsored by the National Association for Geoscience Teachers.

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2014-03-28T13:39:36.547-05:00 2014