Lake Lugano

Lake Lugano is a relatively large (5000 ha) and deep (max 288 m) lake located at the southern tip of the Alps, across the border between Switzerland and Italy. The lake is divided in two main basins, the north basin and the south basin, which have distinct characteristics. Whereas the north basin is deep and meromictic, the south basin is relatively shallower (95 m) and holomictic. In the 1970s-1980s, Lake Lugano was severely affected by eutrophication. However, during the last three decades, a mitigation scheme has managed to reduce substantially the external loadings of nutrients, and is beginning to reduce the trophic level of the lake, especially in the north basin. The lake is being monitored by the Institute of Earth Sciences of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland. A report on the state of the lake is published annually (


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