Variation in the size of lakes in the Lahontan basin is topographically constrained. River diversion also has played a major role in regulating lake size in Lahontan subbasins. The proper gage of lake response to change in the hydrologic balance is neither lake depth (level) nor lake volume but instead lake-surface area. Normalization of surface area is necessary when comparing surface areas of lakes in basins having different topographies. To a first approximation, normalization can be accomplished by dividing the paleosurface area of a lake by its mean-historical, reconstructed surface area. ?? 1989.
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The use of total lake-surface area as an indicator of climatic change: Examples from the Lahontan basin