Just as physicians rely on their knowledge of human anatomy to understand a patient better, we can learn a great deal about how a lake functions by studying its morphometry -- the size and shape of the lake basin. For example, familiarity with a lake's morphometric features can help explain why one lake has more phytoplankton (algae) than another or why some lakes have more macrophytes (large aquatic plants) than others. It can even be helpful in anticipating changes that may occur due to management practices or prevailing weather patterns. Knowledge of the morphometry of lakes can also help us appreciate lakes for what they are and manage them with more realistic expectations. This circular is 32 pages in length and is recommended for anyone interested in learning more about the terminology and techniques currently being used to study lakes in Florida. Topics include:
How Lakes Are Formed
Bathymetric Maps and What They Tell Us About Lakes
Commonly Measured Morphometric Features and What They Tell Us About Lakes
Wind Waves and Water Mixing in Lakes
Appendix A: Measuring Lake Surface Area
Appendix B: Measuring Lake Volume
Note: Circular 104 is available in Portable Document Format (pdf) only. It can be obtained as a single PDF file by clicking on the "Printer Friendly Version" link above (file size = 2.2 MB).
Keywords: Anatomy of a lake, aquatic plants, bathymetric map, coastal dune lakes, currents, depression lakes, dilution capacity, dynamic ratio, fetch, hypsographic curves, lake morphometry, maximum depth, maximum length, maximum width, mean depth, mean width, nutrient transport, oxygen, planimeter, reservoir, resuspension, river lakes, sediment, shoreline, shoreline development, shoreline length, sinkholes, solution lakes, surface area, temperature, turbulence, turbulent flow, volume, water column, water mixing, water quality, wave disturbance, waves, wind velocity.