, Volume 780, Issue 1, pp 37–46 | Cite as

CDOM concentrations of large Finnish lakes relative to their landscape properties

  • Lauri ArvolaEmail author
  • Cecilia Äijälä
  • Matti Leppäranta


Coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM) modifies the light penetration into water bodies due to stronger absorbance of UV and short wavelengths of light. Therefore, in natural waters with high CDOM concentration, the spectrum of sunlight is shifted towards brown, also referred to as brownification. Here, the relation between the spectrophotometrically measured water colour (CDOM) and landscape properties is examined. These properties explained at best > 40% of the CDOM variability among the study lakes larger than 10 km2. The key “permanent” landscape variables were lake percentage (Lake%) in the uppermost catchment area, and the peat land coverage (Peat%) of the catchment, which indeed was strongly correlated with lake elevation above the sea level. High Lake % indicated low CDOM concentration, while high Peat% indicated the opposite. Relative to the Peat% of the catchment, the CDOM concentrations were, on average, slightly higher in medium-size lakes (area 10–100 km2) than in large lakes (area > 100 km2), while relative to Lake% the concentrations declined more in medium-size lakes.


Dissolve Organic Carbon Concentration Lake Area Dissolve Organic Matter Large Lake Coloured Dissolve Organic Matter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank those Finnish government organizations which helped us in collecting the samples in 2014, primarily the regional centres of Economic Development, Transport and Environment, Konnevesi Research Station of the University of Jyväskylä, and Kokemäenjoki and Saimaa Water Protection Associations. We also thank Ulla Heikkilä, Alpo Hassinen, and Risto Latvanen for their help, and Marja-Leena Vitie for the photometer measurements in 2014. Dr. John Loehr kindly checked the English language.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauri Arvola
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cecilia Äijälä
    • 2
  • Matti Leppäranta
    • 2
  1. 1.Lammi Biological StationUniversity of HelsinkiLammiFinland
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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