A morphometrically based method for predicting water layer boundaries in meromictic lakes
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Many general mass-balance models that simulate processes in one or two water layers have been successfully constructed, tested and used to predict effects from remediating lake pollution and other environmental disturbances. However, these models are poorly suited for meromictic lakes which consist of yet another water layer. In order to determine a cross-systems based algorithm for the depth of the boundary between the two lowest layers (D crit2; in m), data from 24 three-layer lakes were analysed, and this depth could be predicted from the maximum depth and the lake surface area. The resulting model was tested with good results against independent data from 6 lakes which were not used for model development. Furthermore, D crit2 was predicted at a considerably lower depth than the theoretical wave base (a previously defined functional separator between the two top layers) in 110 out of 113 meromictic lakes. This indicates that the equation for D crit2 estimated in this study may be used for developing general mass-balance models for a large number of lakes which contain three stable water layers.
KeywordsLakes Layers Stratification Meromixis Morphometry
The author is very grateful to the editorial board of Hydrobiologia and two anonymous reviewers for improving earlier versions of this article.
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