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Lake shoreline in the contiguous United States: Quantity, distribution and sensitivity to observation resolution

Freshwater Biology

By:
, , ,
DOI: 10.1111/fwb.12258

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Abstract

1. Quantifying lake biogeochemical processing at broad spatial scales requires that we scale processes along with physical metrics. Past work has primarily scaled lentic processes using estimates of lake surface area. However, many processes important to lakes, such as material, energy and biological fluxes and biogeochemical cycling, scale with lake perimeter. 2. We estimate the total lake perimeter for the contiguous United States (U.S.) and examine the sensitivity of this estimate to measurement resolution. At the original mapping resolution, lakes in the contiguous U.S. have a total perimeter of over 1.8 million km. 3. The change in measured perimeter versus measurement resolution for the contiguous U.S. had a log-log slope (also known as the fractal dimension) of 0.21, generally less than previously reported estimates. With changing observation resolution, total measured perimeter was most sensitive to the inclusion or exclusion of small lakes, not shoreline complexity. 4. The total aquatic–terrestrial interface in lakes is less than one-tenth that of streams and rivers, which collectively account for over 21 million km of shoreline in the contiguous U.S. This study further describes the distribution of lake perimeter and proposes a technique that can contribute to understanding continental-scale processes.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Lake shoreline in the contiguous United States: Quantity, distribution and sensitivity to observation resolution
Series title:
Freshwater Biology
DOI:
10.1111/fwb.12258
Year Published:
2013
Language:
English
Publisher:
Wiley Online Library
Contributing office(s):
Center for Integrated Data Analytics
Description:
11 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Freshwater Biology
Country:
United States