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The distribution of heat in lakes

1. Why is the distribution of heat important to understand?

2. How and why do lakes stratify?

3. What are the major types of mixing patterns?

pg. 38- 45 in Dodson

Why care about heat in lakes?


Controls rates of biological reactions Controlling factor for distribution of organisms

Recall the exponential decay of light in lakes

Does heat show the same pattern?

Kalff 2002

NO!
Temperature (C) 5 1 2 10 15 20 25 30

Epilimnion

3
Depth (m) 4 5

Metalimnion Thermocline

6
7 8

Hypolimnion

9
10

Two separate water masses between which there is little mixing

Epilimnion Upper Layer Warm Well mixed


THERMOCLINE Hypolimnion Lower layer Cooler than epilimnion

This condition of two, non-mixing layers is known as THERMAL STRATIFICATION

Stabilitylikelihood that a stratified lake will remain stratified. This depends on the density differences between the two layers.

Examples: Epilimnion 8C 22C 30C

Hypolimnion 4C 7C 28C

Result Not much density difference Large density difference, Strong stratification Large density difference, Strong stratification (tropical lakes)

Why do lakes stratify?


(1) Density relationships of water Less dense water floats on deeper water

(2) Effect of wind Molecular diffusion of heat is slow Wind must mix heat to deeper water

How deeply the wind can mix the heat depends on the surface area relative to the depth

Fetch distance over which the wind has blown uninterrupted by land. Changes depending on which way the wind blows Influenced by a lakes surroundings

How do lakes stratify?


Example: 10 m deep lake in Lake County, IL
1 2 5

Temperature (C)
10 15 20 25 30

(1) Early Spring


No density difference
Depth (m)

3
4 5

No resistance to mixing

6
7 8 9 10

Heat absorbed in surface water is distributed throughout

Spring Turnovertime of year when entire water column is mixed by the wind Duration of spring turnover depends on the surface area to maximum depth
In very deep lakes, the bottom water stays at 4C, in more shallow lakes, can get up to > 10C. Can last a few days or a few weeks.

How do lakes stratify? (2) Mid Spring


Longer and warmer days mean more heat is transferred to the surface water on a daily basis
Depth (m) 1 2 5

Temperature (C)
10 15 20 25 30

3
4 5

Surface waters are heated more quickly than the heat can be distributed by mixing

6
7 8 9 10

This increase in surface waters relative to the rest of the water column often occurs during a warm, calm period Now have resistance to mixing. Hypolimnion water temperature will not change much for the rest of the year.

How do lakes stratify? (3) Late Spring


With the density difference established, the epilimnion floats on the colder hypolimnion
1 2 5

Temperature (C)
10 15 20 25 30

3
4 Depth (m) 5

6
7 8 9 10

How do lakes stratify? (4) Late Summer


The epilimnion has continued to warm
Strong thermal stratification
Depth (m) 1 2 5

Temperature (C)
10 15 20 25 30

3
4 5

In very clear lakes, can get direct hypolimnetic heating The decomposition of dead plankton may result in loss of oxygen from the hypolimnion

6
7 8 9 10

How do lakes stratify? (5) Early Autumn


Heat is lost from the surface water at night
1 2 5

Temperature (C)
10 15 20 25 30

3
Depth (m)

Cool water sinks and causes convective mixing

4 5

6
7

Thermocline deepens and epilimnion temperature is reduced

8 9 10

How do lakes stratify? (5) Mid-late Autumn


As epilimnion cools, reduce density difference between layers Eventually, get Fall Turnover
Depth (m) 1 2 5

Temperature (C)
10 15 20 25 30

3
4 5

6
7 8

Turnover returns oxygen to the deep water and nutrients to the surface water

9 10

How do lakes stratify? (7) Winter


Surface water falls below 4C and floats on 4C water
Depth (m) 1 2 5

Temperature (C)
10 15 20 25 30

3
4

Ice blocks the wind from mixing the cooler water deeper Get inverse stratification

6
7 8 9 10

How to represent seasonal patterns in one graph?


Depth-time diagram, isopleth diagram

Wetzel 2001

isotherms

Mixing patterns are influenced by:

Basin morphometry Geography

Water clarity
Weather

Mixing Patterns

1. Amicticnever mix because lake is frozen. Mostly in Antarctica. Some in very high mountains.

2. Holomicticlakes mix completely (top to bottom)

3. MeromicticNever fully mix due to an accumulation of salts in the deepest waters.

Holomictic: lakes are classified by the frequency of mixing

Monomictic lakes: one period of mixing - Cold - Warm Dimictic lakes: two periods of mixing and two periods of stratification

Polymictic lakes: mix many times a year - Cold - Warm

Holomictic:

lakes mix completely

Cold monomictic lakes one period of mixing


Frozen all winter (reverse stratification) Mix briefly at cold temperatures in summer Arctic and mountain lakes

Meretta Lake, CA

Kalff 2002

Holomictic:

lakes mix completely


Kalff 2002

Warm monomictic lakes one period of mixing


Thermal stratification in summer Does not freeze, so mixes all winter

Lake Kinneret

Holomictic:

lakes mix completely

Dimictictwo periods of mixing and two periods of stratification Freeze in winter (inverse stratification) Thermally stratify in summer

Wetzel 2001

Holomictic:

lakes mix completely

Cold polymictic lakes mix many times a year Ice covered in winter, ice free in summer May stratify for brief periods during the summer, but stratification is frequently interrupted Shallow temperate lakes (< ~20 m) with large surface area

mountain or arctic lakes

Holomictic:

lakes mix completely

Warm polymictic lakes mix many times a year Never ice covered

Tropical lakes

May stratify for days or weeks at a time, but mixes more than once a year

Estimated distribution of lake types


Kalff 2002

Mixing Patterns 1. Amicticnever mix because lake is frozen. Mostly in Antarctica. Some in very high mountains.

2. Holomicticlakes mix completely (top to bottom)

3. MeromicticNever fully mix due to an accumulation of salts in the deepest waters.

Meromictic: lakes are chemically stratified

Thermocline

Chemocline Monimolimnion

Meromictic: lakes are chemically stratified


Recall that salinity increases density

The water in the monimolimnion does not mix with the upper water

The mixolimnion can have any mixing pattern (e.g., dimitic, monomictic)

Meromictic: lakes are chemically stratified


Meromictic lakes are classified by how the deep water became salty Biogenic meromixis

Ectogenic meromixis

Crenogenic meromixis

A. Biogenic Meromixis An input of salts due to biological activity (decomposition) Two main ways this can happen: 1. Great depth:

Lake Tanganyika

Zm > 1400 m Surface Area = 32,000 km2

2. Sheltered lakes with relatively small surface area relative to depth

Many years of Incomplete mixing

How much work can the wind do?

b. Ectogenic Meromixis An external event brings salt into a freshwater lake.

Salt water sinks and accumulates at bottom.

Often along marine coastal regions, strong storms can wash in saltwater

Can be human induced

Irondequoit Bay, Lake Ontario

Road salt made this Bay meromictic. Chloride concentration increased 5 fold.

c. Crenogenic Meromixis Submerged saline spring deliver dense water to deep portions of lake

Can get interesting thermal profiles

Warmer water below colder water above 4C

Recall salinity increases density

Mixing Patterns 1. Amicticnever mix because lake is frozen. Mostly in Antarctica. Some in very high mountains. 2. Holomicticlakes mix completely (top to bottom) Monomictic lakes: Cold / Warm Dimictic lakes: Polymictic lakes: Cold / Warm 3. MeromicticNever fully mix due to an accumulation of salts in the deepest waters. Biogenic meromixis Ectogenic meromixis Crenogenic meromixis

All of these classification patterns are for lakes that are deep enough to form a hypolimnion

Shallow lakes do not form a hypolimnion and are therefore unstratified. They have similar temperatures top to bottom.

What is meant by shallow and deep enough is determined by the fetch and depth

A lake with a maximum depth of 4m can stratify if it is in a protected basin

Bullhead Pond Surface Area = 0.02 km2 Maximum fetch < 300 m

22 August 1993

A lake with a maximum depth of 12m can be unstratified if the fetch is long enough

Te mpe r a t ur e ( C) 0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30

Oneida Lake, NY Surface Area = 207 km2 Maximum fetch = 33 km

Depth (m)

10

12

Terms to Know
Epilimnion Metalimnion Thermocline Hypolimnion Thermal stratification Stratification stability Fetch Spring/Fall turnover Inverse stratification Isopleth diagram Isotherm Amictic Holomictic monomictic dimictic polymictic Meromictic biogenic ectogenic crenogenic

Chemocline Monomilimnion Mixolimnion