Seasonality and trends in the Secchi disk transparency of Lake Ladoga
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Data on Secchi disk transparency in Lake Ladoga, the largest lake in Europe, collected between 1905 and 2003, were used to detect climatic (interannual) trends for lake regions with various depths. The seasonal variations in Secchi depth (D s) during the ice-free period both for limnetic regions with large differences in bathymetric characteristics and for the whole lake were estimated by more than 7000 transparency measurements. The two-dimensional data sets have a spatial resolution of approximately 20 km and are geo-referenced by latitude and longitude in Lake Ladoga. Monthly mean spatial transparency distributions and their variances were calculated from May to October. The spatial distributions of the transparency for each month are discussed within the context of lake bathymetric patterns. The maximum values of Secchi depth (more than 4 m) occur during May and October in deep regions. Both the minimum mean value of water transparency and minimum horizontal gradients of D s for the lake occur in August. The regions with significant interannual (climatic) decreasing trends of D s have been identified. These areas increase in summertime and cover approximately half the lake area. In spring and autumn the areas decrease and occur in the southern near-shore regions. The mean downward climatic trend of water transparency in Lake Ladoga is 0.02 m/year.
KeywordsSecchi disk transparency Climatic trends Lake Ladoga
I am grateful to Mrs Tatiana Podsetchine for linguistic revision of the text.
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