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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 581, Issue 1, pp 3–14 | Cite as

Environmental issues of Lake Taihu, China

  • Boqiang QinEmail author
  • Pengzhu Xu
  • Qinglong Wu
  • Liancong Luo
  • Yunlin Zhang
Eutrophication in Lakes

Abstract

Lake Taihu is characterized by its shallowness (mean depth = 1.9 m) and large surface area (2,338 km2). Runoff sources are mostly from the mountainous west and southwest, and outflows are located throughout East Taihu. This causes shorter retention times in the south. In contrast, urban pollutants discharge into northern Taihu and result in poor water quality. Non-point pollution from rural areas and sewage wastewater is the primary pollution source. Water current velocity ranges from 10–30 cm s−1, and surface currents normally follow wind direction. Bottom currents appear to be a compensation flow. Most wave heights are less than 40 cm, and underwater irradiance correlates to seston in the water column. Lacustrine sediment is distributed in littoral zones, mostly along the western shoreline, with almost no accumulation in the lake center. Intensive aquaculture in East Taihu caused eutrophication and hampered water supply in surrounding areas. In addition, development of marshiness in the eastern littoral zones and East Taihu has occurred. The function of flood discharging of East Taihu has been limited by flourishing macrophytes. The problems facing in Lake Taihu will be alleviated by improving the management of nutrient sources into the lake.

Keywords

Lake Taihu Hydrography Water quality Eutrophication Aquaculture 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was funded by Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. KZCX1-SW-12), Ministry of Science and Technology of China (No. 2002AA601011), and National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 40501078). We thank Prof. Karl Havens, Prof. Wayne Gardner, and Prof. Koren Nydick for their careful reviews and constructive suggestions. Thanks are also to Dr. Mark McCarthy for his help with English polishing.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boqiang Qin
    • 1
  • Pengzhu Xu
    • 1
  • Qinglong Wu
    • 1
  • Liancong Luo
    • 1
  • Yunlin Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Nanjing Institute of Geography & LimnologyChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingP.R. China

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