While this discoloured water off the Cass River mouth in Lake Tekapo is in fresh water, similar plumes occur where rivers carrying high sediment loads enter the sea. While sediment entering the ocean through streams and rivers is natural, poor land use can greatly exaggerate this process – with resulting silt plumes. If too much sediment settles it can smother seaweed and creatures living on the sea floor.
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Photograph by Tim Rayward
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