Scientists continue to investigate the cause of the river in Alaska turning into orange

(Josh Koch)

,- A new study revealed that rivers in Alaska became poisonous and changed their colour to milk orange.

Research from the National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of California, Davis, and colleagues found that some of the river streams in the remote locations of Alaska had changed their colour to orange, which had previously been bright blue.

Scientists believe this may be due to the melting of the ice sheet, which, when melted, releases all the minerals that are stored in it. The mineral may contain metal ore, which can cause orange color when exposed to water and oxygen.

New research was then undertaken to find out more about the cause of this orange color.

The researchers that some samples had a pH level of 2.3, whereas normal levels are usually 8. As for the pH level, it measures acidity and acidity in the water, with an average value of 7. Values less than 7 indicate higher levels of acidity.

From these findings, researchers can see that the minerals disintegrate in the water, and at the same time, release metals.

They found high levels of iron, nickel, zinc, cadmium, and copper in orange-coloured waters.

This situation is very worrying, given that this polluted water can have a negative impact on drinking water and the entire Arctic river stream area. In fact, the condition is so severe that a bright orange colour can be seen from outer space.

Although this study began in 2018, there have been previous cases of orange-coloured waters. Satellite images studied by the researchers indicate that the case of this coloured river has existed since 2008.

Scientists are concerned that the problem will continue as climate change leads to increased melting of the ice sheet.

Therefore, the researchers note that there is still much work to be done to understand the problem on a broader scale. The next step is to assess whether the rivers can be recovered from this contamination.

(Newsline Paper Teams)
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