The regional limnology of southern Africa

  • B. R. Allanson
  • R. C. Hart
  • J. H. O’Keeffe
  • R. D. Robarts
Part of the Monographiae Biologicae book series (MOBI, volume 64)


The geomorphological, geochemical and climatological features of southern Africa define five limnological regions of the subcontinent. They are, from east to west: (Fig. 4.1a & b)
  1. 1.

    A subtropical coastal peneplain in which the marine influence is strong resulting in coastal lagoons of varying salinity and subsoil water with an elevated salinity.

  2. 2.

    The summer rainfall region of the elevated plateau and south eastern coastal plain with both temporary and permanent surface water with total dissolved solids (TDS) less than 500 mg l-1, alkaline pH varying between 7.5 and 9.

  3. 3.

    The elevated mountain massif of Lesotho, the so-called austral-montane region with surface water TDS concentration of 47–273 mg l-1, pH 6.6–8.4 (pH higher than 7.5 in lowland streams).

  4. 4.

    The temperate acid waters of the Western Cape arising principally from the Table Mountain Sandstone in the mountainous regions, but at lower levels variously influenced by cyclical salts of marine origin, which increase buffering capacity so that pH may increase to neutrality.

  5. 5.

    The arid west stretching northwards from inland of Port Elizabeth into Namibia and southern Botswana. Surface water temporary, high TDS and alkaline pH.



Total Dissolve Solid Coastal Lake Diatom Flora Water Affair Limnological Feature 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. R. Allanson
    • 1
  • R. C. Hart
    • 2
  • J. H. O’Keeffe
    • 1
  • R. D. Robarts
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Freshwater StudiesRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Zoology and EntomologyUniversity of NatalPietermaritzburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.Division of Water TechnologyCouncil for Scientific and Industrial ResearchPretoriaSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations