, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 233–239 | Cite as

Vulnerability of a large monomictic lake (Lake Biwa) to warm winter event

  • Chikage Yoshimizu
  • Kohei Yoshiyama
  • Ichiro Tayasu
  • Tadatoshi Koitabashi
  • Toshi Nagata
Research paper


Detailed cross-sectional temperature and oxygen distributions during winter were examined over 5 years (2003–2007) in large, warm, monomictic Lake Biwa. The distribution patterns showed year-to-year variation in the degree of spatial heterogeneity and indicated that both convective mixing and gravity currents contributed to the delivery of oxygen to the profundal zone. We encountered a warm winter in 2007, when deep-water oxygenation was delayed by more than a month relative to normal years. Data obtained during the period of oxygenation in 2007 suggest that the timing of complete oxygenation of the bottom water (or lower layers of the hypolimnion) was controlled by physical processes responsible for destruction of the weak thermal stratification near the bottom. This study revealed that Lake Biwa is sensitive to year-to-year variations in winter meteorological conditions. Specifically, the bottom environments are highly susceptible to a warm winter, especially when it follows a cold winter.


Lake Biwa Climate warming Dissolved oxygen Vertical mixing Warm winter 



Takahiro Miyano, Yukiko Goda, Chulgoo Kim, Taichi Yokokawa, Yoko Nishimura, and Koh Maki assisted field surveys on board the research boat Hasu of CER, Kyoto University. Kiyoshi Tanaka kindly introduced relevant lake physics studies. Michio Kumagai helped coordinate this research program. This study was supported by the Shiga Prefecture, Basic Research Program (CREST) of the Japan Science and Technology Agency, and by the Global Environmental Research Fund (Fa-084) of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Limnology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chikage Yoshimizu
    • 1
  • Kohei Yoshiyama
    • 2
  • Ichiro Tayasu
    • 1
  • Tadatoshi Koitabashi
    • 1
  • Toshi Nagata
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Ecological ResearchKyoto UniversityShigaJapan
  2. 2.Ocean Research InstituteThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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