Background aspects of lake restoration: water balance, heavy metal content, phosphorus homeostasis

Abraham Lerman*, A. B. Hull

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Perturbations of the lake water balance, inputs of heavy metals to lakes, and intensifying fertilization of lakes through input and accumulation of phosphorus-these three classes of phenomena are among the more important background processes in lake restoration. Lake restoration consists of a series of measures animed at producing a homeostatic response of a lake system to external perturbations. The success of its implementation is affected by the morphometric and edaphic parameters of different types of lakes. The relationship between the volume (V) and mean-depth {Mathematical expression} of fresh-water lakes indicates a trend of {Mathematical expression}. Glacial lakes occuring on or near crystalline shields have relatively shallow depths, whereas volcanic lakes, rift valley and deep valley lakes have relatively greater depths for the same volume. For saline lakes (21 lakes, V>1 km3) that undergo cycles of expansion and shrinkage, the V to {Mathematical expression} relationship is closer to power 1. Water residence times (τ) of small and big fresh-water lakes show a trend of τ approximately linear in {Mathematical expression} or τ∝V0.3. Volcanic lakes and Maare have longer residence times in comparison to other lakes of similar volumes. For the major inorganic chemical species and heavy metals, the regulatory upper-limit concentrations in drinking water in the USA and EEC are from several times to more than 100 times higher than their concentrations in a global mean river water. Only three elements (Fe, P, and Al) occur in river water at concentrations approaching such upper-limit recommendations. Rates of accumulation of phosphorus in lake water and sediments, computed as the difference between input and ouflow removal rates for 23 fresh-water lakes, are generally lower for lakes of longer water residence time. The rate of accumulation is a measure of homeostatic response of the lake system to input load: it is equivalent to the rate of all the removal processes needed to maintain phosphorus concentration in lake water at a steady state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-169
Number of pages22
JournalSwiss Journal of Hydrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Background aspects of lake restoration: water balance, heavy metal content, phosphorus homeostasis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this