Relationship of Vertical Transport Across the Thermocline to Oxygen and Phosphorus Regimes: Lake Ontario as a Prototype

  • William J. Snodgrass
Part of the Marine Science book series (MR, volume 7)


Relationships of vertical transport to P and O2 regimes in stratified lakes is examined using a two-box model perspective. For Lake Ontario, the following statements are supported by this work: 1) Estimates of vertical exchange coefficients across the thermocline range from 0.07–0.15 m/day and for the vertical diffusivity coefficient from 1–4.1 m2/day. 2) Vertical exchange which transports O2 from the hypolimnion to the epilimnion accounts for 20% of the loss of oxygen from the hypolimnion; the remainder of the loss is due to decomposition. 3) When a phosphorus-oxygen model is used, the following theoretical predictions are made: (a) increased transport across the thermocline causes decreasing concentrations of total phosphorus at the following spring circulation, (b) vertical transport of orthophosphorus to the epilimnion exceeds inputs to the epilimnion from land-based sources, (c) as the rate of vertical exchange increases, the time to reach steady-state due to a change in loading decreases, (d) downward erosion of the thermocline and the rate of vertical exchange have different effects on a simulated bloom. 4) Predictions of the rate of vertical exchange of oxygen agree fairly well with calculations made from observations.


Total Phosphorus Soluble Reactive Phosphorus Vertical Transport Particulate Phosphorus Vertical Exchange 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. Snodgrass
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Civil and Chemical EngineeringMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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