July is Lakes Appreciation Month! This national initiative to appreciate and protect lakes was started in 1998 by the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS
), which notes…
"You work and play on them. You drink from them. But do you really appreciate them? Growing population, development, and invasive species stress your local lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. All life needs water; let’s not take it for granted!"
Defined by the United Geological Society (USGS
) as a feature “…where surface-water runoff and groundwater seepage have accumulated in a low spot, relative to the surrounding countryside,” a lake is simply a body of water surrounded by land. And many of us may be vacationing on a lake this summer, as there are millions of them all over the world, on every continent, and in every kind of environment!
So, what makes each lake unique?
According to the USGS, these are some of the most important basic factors that give unique character to each lake ecosystem:
- Climate: Temperature, wind, precipitation, and solar radiation all impact the hydrologic and chemical characteristics of a lake.
- Atmospheric inputs: Precipitation, including acid rain, can be a major source of contaminants to a lake. Lakes also receive indirect atmospheric inputs via water runoff.
- Underground rock and soils in the watershed: The soil type affects potential runoff and erosion, and the characteristics of the underground rock define the flow of groundwater.
- Physiography: The area, surface topography, upstream lakes and wetlands, altitude, and land slope of the watershed all affect surface-water runoff and chemicals and sediments entering a lake.
- Land use: The type, location, extent of land cover/land use (including agriculture, rural, and urban developed areas) all affect a lake.
- Lake size, shape, and depth: These characteristics are critical in determining the currents and mixing of a lake.
Are you using HOBO data loggers to monitor water level, water quality, or some other aspect of a lake? Let us know! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
. We’d love to learn about your awesome lake monitoring application.
Looking to monitor lakes with HOBO data loggers? Onset’s got you covered; check these out!
Or click here
to check out all our water monitoring solutions!
For more about lakes on the Onset blog, see these posts: