In 1984, six dye tracer tests were made on Lake Marion to determine flow patterns and retention times under conditions of high and low flow. During the high-flow tests, with an average inflow of about 29,000 cubic feet per second, the approximate travel time through the lake for the peak tracer concentration was 14 days. The retention time was about 20 days. During the low-flow tests, with an average inflow of about 9,000 cubic feet per second, the approximate travel time was 41 days, and the retention time was about 60 days. The primary factors controlling movement of water in the lake are lake inflow and outflow. The tracer cloud moved consistently downstream, slowing as the lake widened. Flow patterns in most of the coves, and in some areas along the northeastern shore, are influenced more by tributary inflow than by factors attributable to water from the main body of the lake.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Retention time and flow patterns in Lake Marion, South Carolina, 1984
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ;
Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Services Section,