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The volume and mean depth of Earth's lakes
Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Climate Impacts Research Centre, Umeå University, Abisko, Sweden. (Arcum)
2017 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 44, no 1, 209-218 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Global lake volume estimates are scarce, highly variable, and poorly documented. We developed a rigorous method for estimating global lake depth and volume based on the Hurst coefficient of Earth's surface, which provides a mechanistic connection between lake area and volume. Volume-area scaling based on the Hurst coefficient is accurate and consistent when applied to lake data sets spanning diverse regions. We applied these relationships to a global lake area census to estimate global lake volume and depth. The volume of Earth's lakes is 199,000km(3) (95% confidence interval 196,000-202,000km(3)). This volume is in the range of historical estimates (166,000-280,000km(3)), but the overall mean depth of 41.8m (95% CI 41.2-42.4m) is significantly lower than previous estimates (62-151m). These results highlight and constrain the relative scarcity of lake waters in the hydrosphere and have implications for the role of lakes in global biogeochemical cycles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 44, no 1, 209-218 p.
Keyword [en]
limnology, topograhy, scaling, volume, mean depth
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-132638DOI: 10.1002/2016GL071378ISI: 000393954900025OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-132638DiVA: diva2:1082982
Available from: 2017-03-20 Created: 2017-03-20 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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Seekell, David
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Arctic Research Centre at Umeå UniversityDepartment of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
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