Lake Basin Characteristics and Morphometry

  • Robert G. Wetzel
  • Gene E. Likens


Limnological analyses of a lake or stream very often require a detailed knowledge of morphometry, particularly of the volume characteristics of the body of fresh water. Depth analyses, including measurement of areas of sediments and of water strata at various depths, volumes of strata, and shoreline characteristics, are often critical to detailed analyses of biological, chemical, and physical properties of fresh waters. Morphometric parameters are needed for example, to evaluate erosion, nutrient loading rates, chemical mass, heat content and thermal stability, biological productivity and effectiveness of growth, and many other structural and functional components of the ecosystem. Management techniques, such as the loading capacity for effluents and the selective removal of undesirable components of the biota, are also heavily dependent on a detailed knowledge of the morphometry and water retention times in freshwater ecosystems.


Base Line Depth Contour Shore Line Water Retention Time Distance Sighting 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert G. Wetzel
    • 1
  • Gene E. Likens
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biology, College of Arts and SciencesUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Ecosystem StudiesThe New York Botanical Garden, Cary ArboretumMillbrookUSA

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