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Here's what may have caused an unusual swirl in Lake Pend Oreille, according to an expert

Scientists at University of Idaho believe the swirl is suspended sediment that got swept into the current.

SANDPOINT, Idaho — A picture of an unusual swirl in Lake Pend Oreille stumped many community members and experts alike.

The photo was taken by Art Groeneweg from a plane on Sunday. KREM 2 reached out to many experts in the area and Professor Frank Wilhelm from the College of Natural Resources at University of Idaho had an idea of what could have caused it.

Wilhelm said while it's uncertain without taking actual lake samples, it could be sediment or runoff moving inside of a current. The runoff could have been loosened by wind or waves, then forced into a vortex current that was also created by wind.

Credit: Art Groeneweg

Wilhelm said this likely occurs at other times as well, but this time someone happened to be there to see and photograph it from a unique vantage point up high in a plane.

Wilhelm added that is is too late in the year for it to be an algae bloom and has ruled that out. He said it was a nice display of hydrodynamic forces in the lake. 

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