, Volume 317, Issue 3, pp 209–220 | Cite as

An empirical model for sediment resuspension in shallow lakes

  • David P. Hamilton
  • Stuart F. Mitchell


Suspended solids concentrations were measured at routine 2–3 week intervals and on additional windy days for at least one year in each of seven shallow (mean depth < 2 m) south Island, New Zealand lakes. Surface wave characteristics were estimated from water depths and local meteorological data using a shallow-water wave forecasting model for fetch-limited waves. Bottom shear stresses were computed from surface wave characteristics for the sampling stations and for a hypothetical lake-average station. The calculated shear stresses were, on average, much better predictors of suspended solids concentrations than alternative models using two different functions of wind speed, wave height2/depth or wavelength/depth. A combination of the sample station and lake average shear stresses provided slightly better predictions than the sample station values alone, suggesting that currents also contribute significantly to the concentration at a given point. Regressions of suspended solids on the combined functions had r2 values ranging from 0.74–0.73 in the seven lakes. The slopes of these regressions were negatively related to the settling velocity of the lowest quartile of the sediment, and to macrophyte biomass, in multiple regression (r2 = 0.94, p < 0.01).

Key words

suspended solids wave action shear stress macrophytes 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • David P. Hamilton
    • 1
  • Stuart F. Mitchell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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