Classification of the hydrologic settings of lakes in the north central United States

Water Resources Research



The hydrologic settings of 150 lakes in the north central United States were investigated by principal component analysis as a first attempt to develop a general classification of the hydrologic settings of lakes. Precipitation-evaporation balance and the water quality variables have high loadings on the first principal component. Highest loadings on component 2 are for streamflow in and out of the lakes. Components 3 and 4 are characterized by geologic and groundwater flow variables. The drainage basin area/lake area ratio, the overland runoff variable, has the highest loading on component 5. The stability of the principal components was tested by randomly splitting the data and comparing a principal component analysis of each subsample. This showed the first two principal components to be the most stable. The components described by the groundwater variables are less stable, but there is justification for using them with caution. Of the variables examined in this study the distribution of dissolved solids of groundwater is most closely related to the distribution of lake types as determined by other limnological typologies in the north central United States. The study indicates that the following are the most important variables to be considered in classifying the hydrologic settings of lakes: dissolved solids concentration of groundwater, precipitation-evaporation balance, streamflow inlet and outlet, the ratio of drainage basin area to lake area, and lake depth. Of the groundwater variables, local relief and regional slope are more important than is regional position. Texture of the drift and bedrock, which is related to hydraulic conductivity of the rocks, is very important.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Classification of the hydrologic settings of lakes in the north central United States
Series title Water Resources Research
DOI 10.1029/WR013i004p00753
Volume 13
Issue 4
Year Published 1977
Language English
Publisher AGU
Contributing office(s) North Dakota Water Science Center, Dakota Water Science Center
Description 15 p.
First page 753
Last page 767
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