Morphometric analysis of UK lake systems as a compliance tool for the European Water Framework Directive

John Rowan (Lead / Corresponding author), Iain Soutar, Geoff E. Phillips

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    The European Water Framework Directive 2000 (WFD) stipulates that surface water bodies, such as lakes, should achieve good ecological and chemical status (pollutant levels) by 2015. However, the extant environmental monitoring programmes of most member states have major deficiencies in terms of the baseline data required, thus potentially jeopardising the compliance schedules of the WFD. Great Britain has over 40 000 lakes >1 ha, but bathymetric data are available for less than 2%. This paper presents a collation of available bathymetric data (622 sites) and demonstrates the utility of morphometric analysis to bridge the gap between surveyed and un-surveyed systems. Type-specific relations between mean (Dmv) and maximum (Dmax) water depths were developed for natural lakes (rvalues ranging from 0.87 to 0.99), as well as modified systems and impoundments (r2 values ranging from 0.74 to 0.99). Stepwise regression was also undertaken to predict Dmv and Dmax using only map-derived information (such as lake area, catchment area and shoreline length). The results varied markedly between “geological types”, with “medium alkalinity” (MA) lakes giving the highest coefficients of determination (Rof 0.79 and 0.82, respectively). Predicting Dmv is important because it permits calculation of parameters such as the volume (V) (and hence residence time) and dynamic ratio (DR) which provides a measure of the likely extent of sediment re-suspension. This preliminary analysis has demonstrated the potential of the morphometric approach to generate valuable parameters from limited field investment and will provide a valuable stop-gap until the results of the WFD’s comprehensive monitoring programmes are realized.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSediment Dynamics and the Hydromorphology of Fluvial Systems
    EditorsJohn S. Rowan, Robert W. Duck, Alan Werrity
    Place of PublicationWallingford
    PublisherInternational Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)978-1901502-68-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Publication series

    NameIAHS Publication
    PublisherInternational Association of Hydrological Sciences


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