Lake transparency: a window into decadal variations in dissolved organic carbon concentrations in Lakes of Acadia National Park, Maine

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Abstract

A forty year time series of Secchi depth observations from approximately 25 lakes in Acadia National Park, Maine, USA, evidences large variations in transparency between lakes but relatively little seasonal cycle within lakes. However, there are coherent patterns over the time series, suggesting large scale processes are responsible. It has been suggested that variations in colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) are primarily responsible for the variations in transparency, both between lakes and over time and further that CDOM is a robust optical proxy for dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Here we present a forward model of Secchi depth as a function of DOC based upon first principles and bio-optical relationships. Inverting the model to estimate DOC concentration from Secchi depth observations compared well with the measured DOC concentrations collected since 1995 (RMS error < 1.3 mg C l-1). This inverse model allows the time series of DOC to be extended back to the mid 1970s when only Secchi depth observations were collected, and thus provides a means for investigating lake response to climate forcing, changing atmospheric chemistry and watershed characteristics, including land cover and land use.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Lake transparency: a window into decadal variations in dissolved organic carbon concentrations in Lakes of Acadia National Park, Maine
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-30259-1_18
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) New England Water Science Center
Description 12 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Aquatic nutrient biogeochemistry and microbial ecology: A dual perspective
First page 225
Last page 236
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N