Temperature and oxygen in Missouri reservoirs

Lake and Reservoir Management
By: , and 



Vertical profiles of water temperature (n = 7193) and dissolved oxygen (n = 6516) were collected from 235 Missouri reservoirs during 1989–2007; most data were collected during May–August and provide a regional summary of summer conditions. Collectively, surface water temperature ranged from a mean of ~22 C in May to 28 C in July, and individual summer maxima typically were 28–32 C. Most (~95%) reservoirs stably stratify by mid-May, but few are deep enough to have hypolimnia with near-uniform temperatures. Among stratified reservoirs, maximum effective length and maximum depth accounted for 75% of the variation in mixed depth and thermocline depth. Ephemeral, near-surface thermoclines occurred in 39% of summer profiles and were most frequent in small, turbid reservoirs. Isotherms below the mixed layer deepen during stratification, and the water column is >20 C by August in all but the deepest reservoirs. Most reservoirs showed incipient dissolved oxygen (DO) depletion by mid-May, and by August, 80% of profiles had DO minima of <1 mg/L. Surface area and chlorophyll (Chl) explained 37% of variation in the earliest date of anoxia, and Chl explained >50% of variation in DO below the mixed layer during summer. Warm summer temperatures and widespread low DO often limit available fish habitat in Missouri reservoirs and compress warm-water fish communities into subsurface layers that exceed their thermal preferences. This study provides a regional baseline of reservoir temperature and oxygen conditions useful for future evaluations of eutrophication and the effects of a warming climate.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Temperature and oxygen in Missouri reservoirs
Series title Lake and Reservoir Management
DOI 10.1080/07438141.2011.583713
Volume 27
Issue 2
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Publisher location London, UK
Contributing office(s) Kansas Water Science Center
Description 10 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Lake and Reservoir Management
First page 173
Last page 182
Country United States
State Missouri
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