Limnological analyses of a lake or stream very often require a detailed knowledge of morphometry, particularly of the volume characteristics of the body of fresh water. Depth analyses, including measurement of areas of sediments and of water strata at various depths, volumes of strata, and shoreline characteristics, are often critical to detailed analyses of biological, chemical, and physical properties of fresh waters. Morphometric parameters are needed, for example, to evaluate erosion, nutrient loading rates, chemical mass, heat content and thermal stability, biological productivity and effectiveness of growth, and many other structural and functional components of the ecosystem. Management techniques, such as the loading capacity for effluents and the selective removal of undesirable components of the biota, are also heavily dependent on a detailed knowledge of the morphometry and water retention times in freshwater ecosystems.
Accurate hydropraphic maps of lakes and streams are rarely available in sufficient detail for the limnologist. It is a characteristic feature that the morphometry of lakes and streams changes with time, so even if bathymetric (i.e., depth contour) maps are available from governmental or other sources, their accuracy should be checked carefully. It is essential, therefore, that the rudiments of the construction of bathymetric maps and the computation of morphometric parameters be understood.
KeywordsBase Line Depth Contour Shore Line Distance Sighting Plane Table
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Hunt, C.B. 1974. Natural Regions of the United States and Canada. 2nd Ed. Freeman, San Francisco, 725 pp.Google Scholar
- Hutchinson, G.E. 1957. A Treatise on Limnology. Vol. 1. Geography, Physics, and Chemistry. Wiley, New York. 1015 pp.Google Scholar
- McEntyre, J.G. 1978. Land Survey Systems. Wiley, New York. 537 pp.Google Scholar
- Olson, F.C.W 1960. A system of morphometry. Int. Hydrogr. Rev. 37:147–155.Google Scholar
- Welch, P.S. 1948. Limnological Methods. Blakiston Philadelphia. 381 pp.Google Scholar
- Wetzel, R.G. 1999. Limnology: Lake and River Ecosystems. 3rd Ed. Academic Press, San Diego (in press).Google Scholar