Hartbeespoort Dam: A Case Study of a Hypertrophic, Warm, Monomictic Impoundment

  • W. E. Scott
  • P. J. Ashton
  • R. D. Walmsley
  • M. T. Seaman
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 2)


Hartbeespoort Dam is a hypertrophic impoundment in South Africa, with large blooms of the potentially toxic blue-green alga Microcystis aeruginosa and an extensive anaerobic zone of up to 40% of the total volume during summer months. The aerial total phosphorus and total nitrogen loading rates are in the order of 20 g/m2/y and 128 g/m2/y respectively. Monthly mean chlorophyll concentrations measured over two years in the impoundment were higher than 30 mg/m3 for at least half of the year. Based on the Vollenweider model the standing crop of phytoplankton is much lower than would be expected in an equivalent north-temperate lake. This can be attributed to limitation of algal production by temperature and available light, as well as a flush-out of phytoplankton during summer flow-in. During 1976 and 1977 up to 60% of the water surface was covered by water hyacinth, Eichhomia crassipes, before removal by chemical spraying.


Standing Crop Water Hyacinth Microcystis Aeruginosa Secchi Disc Transparency Large Bloom 
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Copyright information

© Dr. W. Junk b.v. Publishers-The Hague, The Netherlands 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. E. Scott
    • 1
  • P. J. Ashton
    • 1
  • R. D. Walmsley
    • 1
  • M. T. Seaman
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute for Water ResearchPretoriaRepublic of South Africa

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