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University of Missouri-Columbia. Limnology 101. Dan Obrecht MU Limnology obrechtd@missouri.edu. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

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limnology 101

University of Missouri-Columbia

Limnology 101

Dan Obrecht

MU Limnology

obrechtd@missouri.edu

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Region VII, US Environmental Protection Agency, through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, has provided partial funding for this project under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act

slide2
Limnology is the science dealing with the physical, chemical, biological and meteorological study of inland waters.
lake types
“Lake Types”
  • Glaciated Lakes
  • Reservoirs
  • Oxbows
slide4

Glaciated Lake

Reservoir

Oxbow

how do the lake types differ
How do the lake types differ?
  • Depth
  • Residence Time
  • Lifespan
depth
Depth
  • Glaciated Lakes = Deep relative to area
  • Reservoirs = Vary, but often shallow for a given size relative to glaciated lake
  • Oxbow = Shallow
why is depth important
Why is depth important?
  • Shallow lakes may mix sporadically throughout the summer, leading to more internal loading of nutrients.
  • A deeper lake has a larger volume of water, which influences hydrology.
slide8
Residence Time is the theoretical time it takes water to move through the waterbody. It is the reciprocal of Flushing Rate.
residence time
Residence Time
  • Glaciated Lakes = Moderate to high residence times
  • Reservoirs = Generally low to moderate residence times
  • Oxbows = Varies with connectivity to river, generally low due to low volumes
why is residence time important
Why is Residence Time important?
  • Residence time can be used to gauge inputs relative to lake volume. A lake with a long residence time has low inputs, while a lake with a short residence time has greater inputs relative to lake volume.
slide12
Residence time also indicates how much sedimentation can occur. A long residence time translates to more material settling out to the bottom of the lake. A short residence time means this sedimentation does not occur.
lifespan

Lifespan

Over time, lakes become shallower as organic and inorganic matter settles to the bottom. As the lake becomes shallower, it also becomes more productive; accelerating the rate of sedimentation. At some point the lake becomes a wetland.

lifespan1
Lifespan
  • Glaciated Lakes = High lifespan
  • Reservoirs = Short to moderate lifespan
  • Oxbow = Short lifespan
slide17

Missouri Lakes –

Phosphorus vs Algal Biomass

slide18

Missouri Lakes –

Nitrogen vs Algal Biomass

algae aren t all bad
Algae aren’t all bad!
  • Base of the food web
  • Source of dissolved oxygen
impairments associated with excess algae
Impairments associated with excess algae
  • Loss of aesthetic beauty
  • Decreased recreation
  • Taste and odor problems
  • Increased cost to treat for drinking water
  • Impacts on dissolved oxygen
  • Toxins
where do the nutrients come from
Where do the nutrients come from?

According to the EPA, the three top sources of pollution impairing lakes and reservoirs in the USA are:

trophic state classification
Trophic State Classification
  • Oligotrophic = low nutrients, low algal biomass, high clarity, dissolved oxygen throughout water column
  • Mesotrophic = moderate nutrients and algal biomass, some clarity
trophic state classification1
Trophic State Classification
  • Eutrophic = rich in nutrients and algal biomass, turbid, loss of dissolved oxygen in lower layer during summer stratification
  • Hypereutrophic = very nutrient rich, algal biomass levels that have a negative impact on lake use
slide31
Eutrophication: The process of lake aging, in which productivity increases overtime as the lake becomes shallower.