Mechanisms of hypolimnion erosion in a deep lake (Lago Maggiore, N. Italy)
AbstractHolo-oligomixis is one of the most important hydrodynamic characteristics of deep lakes in temperate regions, especially those of the Southern Alps. It influences such important lake chemical and biological processes as the oxygenation of deep layers, recycling of nutrients, vertical migration of plankton, and reproduction. Analysis of physico-chemical data from Lago Maggiore over the years 1951 – 2008 has shown that in addition to ever active but relatively inefficient convective mixing, three other mechanisms act to oxygenate this lake’s deep waters in winter. These are conveyor belt currents, cold and well-oxygenated tributary inflows that sink down to depths of equal density, and differential cooling of littoral waters that subsequently slide down the lake flanks. Their common outcome is to cause deep erosion of the hypolimnion. Heat content and thermal stability also are affected and are analyzed here in relation to external driving forces, examining in particular how dynamics may be altered by climate change.
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Copyright (c) 2010 Walter AMBROSETTI, Luigi BARBANTI, Elisabetta A. CARRARA
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