Aquatic Sciences

, Volume 79, Issue 2, pp 395–406 | Cite as

Profound daily vertical stratification and mixing in a small, shallow, wind-exposed lake with submerged macrophytes

  • Mikkel René Andersen
  • Kaj Sand-Jensen
  • R. Iestyn Woolway
  • Ian D. Jones
Research Article


Mixing and stratification patterns in lakes are critical attributes because they are important regulators of distribution of gases, solutes and organisms. While numerous studies have focused on mixing and stratification in large lakes, the ecology and hydrodynamics of small lakes remain grossly understudied. This is critical because small lakes are far more abundant than large lakes globally. We studied a small (<1000 m2) and shallow (<0.6 m) lake with clear water and dense submerged charophyte stands located on Öland, SE Sweden, between March 25th and May 29th to investigate the thermal regimes, surface heat fluxes and stratification and mixing processes. Daytime vertical temperature differences developed in the water column ranging from 3 °C in March to 15 °C in May. Cooling of surface waters led to full convective mixing of the water column each night. The lake shallowed from March to May. The largest temperature differences were recorded in the early afternoon although wind speeds were highest at this time. The dense charophyte cover rapidly attenuated depth penetration of wind-induced mixing and radiative fluxes. Dense macrophyte stands can engineer their own environment by facilitating build-up of steep temperature and chemical gradients. This interaction should have implications for small lakes worldwide.


Temperature stratification Vertical mixing Small lake Macrophytes Charophytes 



This work was supported by grants from the Carlsberg Foundation and CLEAR to Kaj Sand-Jensen. We thank Mikkel Madsen-Østerbye, Ayoe Lüchau and Theis Kragh for technical assistance. The authors are grateful to NetLake, particularly Eleanor Jennings, Stephen Maberly and Peter Staehr, for providing the contacts which ultimately led to this collaborative study.

Supplementary material

27_2016_505_MOESM1_ESM.docx (21 kb)
Figure S1. Temporal changes in surface area (dashed line) and water volume of the lake (full line; upper panel) and maximum water depth (dotted line) and precipitation (columns; lower panel). Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 20 kb)
27_2016_505_MOESM2_ESM.docx (223 kb)
Figure S2 Surface irradiance (a), air temperature (b), relative humidity (c) and wind speed (d) measured next to the lake at 2.0 m above the water surface during the investigation. Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 223 kb)
27_2016_505_MOESM3_ESM.docx (176 kb)
Figure S3. Heat fluxes calculated during the investigation. Incoming short-wave radiation (a), reflected short-wave radiation (b), net long-wave radiation (c), latent heat flux (d), sensible heat flux (e) and total heat flux (f). Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 175 kb)
27_2016_505_MOESM4_ESM.docx (54 kb)
Figure S4. Transfer coefficients (dimensionless) calculated during the investigation. C D10 (top panel) and C E10 (bottom panel). Supplementary material 4 (DOCX 53 kb)
27_2016_505_MOESM5_ESM.docx (204 kb)
Figure S5 Bathymetric map of the lake, the depths was recorded on May 26th when maximum depth was 0.33 m. The grey lines are 0.1 m depth curves. The black line shows the outline of the lake and increasing blue shading indicates the depth. Supplementary material 5 (DOCX 203 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mikkel René Andersen
    • 1
  • Kaj Sand-Jensen
    • 1
  • R. Iestyn Woolway
    • 2
  • Ian D. Jones
    • 3
  1. 1.Freshwater Biological Laboratory, Biological InstituteUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Department of MeteorologyUniversity of ReadingReadingUK
  3. 3.Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster Environment CentreLancasterUK

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