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The Morphometry of Lake Palmas, a Deep Natural Lake in Brazil

TitleThe Morphometry of Lake Palmas, a Deep Natural Lake in Brazil
Publication TypeManuscript
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBarroso G.F.
Secondary AuthorsGonçalves M.A.
Tertiary AuthorsGarcia F.C.
Collection TitlePLOS ONE
Volume/Storage Container9
Manuscript Number11
Type of WorkScientific paper
Keywordslake morphometry; thermal stratification; lake mixing;

Lake Palmas (A = 10.3 km2) is located in the Lower Doce River Valley (LDRV), on the southeastern coast of Brazil. The Lake District of the LDRV includes 90 lakes, whose basic geomorphology is associated with the alluvial valleys of the Barreiras Formation (Cenozoic, Neogene) and with the Holocene coastal plain. This study aimed to investigate the relationship of morphometry and thermal pattern of a LDRV deep lake, Lake Palmas. A bathymetric survey carried out in 2011 and the analysis of hydrographic and wind data with a geographic information system allowed the calculation of several metrics of lake morphometry. The vertical profiling of physical and chemical variables in the water column during the wet/warm and dry/mild cold seasons of 2011 to 2013 has furnished a better understanding of the influence of the lake morphometry on its structure and function. The overdeepened basin has a subrectangular elongated shape and is aligned in a NW-SE direction in an alluvial valley with a maximum depth (Zmax) of 50.7 m, a volume of 2.2×108 m3 (0.22 km3) and a mean depth (Zmv) of 21.4 m. These metrics suggest Lake Palmas as the deepest natural lake in Brazil. Water column profiling has indicated strong physical and chemical stratification during the wet/warm season, with a hypoxic/anoxic layer occupying one-half of the lake volume. The warm monomictic pattern of Lake Palmas, which is in an accordance to deep tropical lakes, is determined by water column mixing during the dry and mild cold season, especially under the influence of a high effective fetch associated with the incidence of cold fronts. Lake Palmas has a very long theoretical retention time, with a mean of 19.4 years. The changes observed in the hydrological flows of the tributary rivers may disturb the ecological resilience of Lake Palmas.

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