Relationships between morphometry, geographic location and water quality parameters of European lakes
- Tiina Nõges
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I addressed the question how lake and catchment morphometry influences water chemistry and water quality over a large scale of European lakes, and developed the regression equations between most closely related morphometric and water quality indices. I analysed the data of 1,337 lakes included in the European Environment Agency (EEA) database, carrying out separate analyses for three basic lake types: large lakes (area ≥100 km2, 138 lakes), shallow lakes (mean depth ≤3 m, 153 lakes) and large and shallow lakes (area ≥100 km2 and mean depth ≤8 m, 35 lakes). The study revealed that in Europe, the lakes towards North are larger but shallower and have smaller catchment areas than the southern lakes; lakes at higher altitudes are deeper and smaller and have smaller catchment areas than the lowland lakes. Larger lakes have generally larger catchment areas and bigger volumes, and they are deeper than smaller lakes, but the relative depth decreases with increasing surface area. The lakes at higher latitudes have lower alkalinity, pH and conductivity, and also lower concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus while the concentration of organic matter is higher. In the lakes at higher altitudes, the concentration of organic matter and nutrient contents are lower and water is more transparent than in lowland lakes. In larger lakes with larger catchment area, the alkalinity, pH, conductivity and the concentrations of nutrients and organic matter are generally higher than in smaller lakes with smaller catchments. If the lake is deep and/or its residence time is long, the water is more transparent and the concentrations of chlorophyll a, organic matter and nutrients are lower than in shallower lakes with shorter residence times. The larger the catchment area is with respect to lake depth, area and volume, the lower is the water transparency and the higher are the concentrations of the nutrients, organic matter and chlorophyll as well as pH, alkalinity and conductivity. The links between lake water quality and morphometry become stronger towards large and shallow lakes. Along the decreasing gradients of latitude, altitude and relative depth, the present phosphorus concentration and its deviation from the reference concentration increases.
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- Relationships between morphometry, geographic location and water quality parameters of European lakes
Volume 633, Issue 1 , pp 33-43
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Lake water quality
- Catchment area
- Water Framework Directive
- Industry Sectors
- Tiina Nõges (1) (2)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Institute for Environment and Sustainability, EC Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy
- 2. Center for Limnology, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 1, 51014, Tartu, Estonia