The bloom of Lake Atitlan has a connection with Mayan activities

(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers from Guatemala and the United States of America studied sediments in Lake Amatitlan, near which was located Caminalhuyu, a major city of the Mayan civilization. According to the publication Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in the period 550-1200 AD. in the lake cyanobacteria bloomed violently, which negatively reflected on the reservoir.

The authors of the new study linked the cyanobacterial bloom in Lake Amatitlan with the increase in the population of Kaminaljuyu, as well as the development of agriculture in the region. As noted by Matthew Waters of Auburn University, today Lake Amatitlan is hypereutrophic – that is, it blooms all the time due to the abundance of microcystins. The Maya people seem to be to blame for this.

“We studied the sediments from the lake using accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon analysis, and found that the samples accumulated for more than two thousand years. The first part of the core accumulated until about 550 AD – here we recorded a moderate concentration of nutrients and low levels of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur. The water was more or less clear at the time, “says Waters.

The part of the core, which belongs to the period from 550 to 1200, indicates an increase in the activity of cyanobacteria. During this period, there was an increase in the population of Kaminaljuyu, which was accompanied by the development of agriculture, therefore, scientists believe that the Mayans were the culprits of the flowering of the lake.


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