The relationship of lake morphometry and phosphorus dynamics of a tropical highland lake: Lake Tana, Ethiopia.
Lakes hold most of the world's fresh surface water resources. Safeguarding these resources from water quality degradation requires knowledge of the relationship between lake morphometry and water quality. The 3046-km2 Lake Tana in Ethiopia is one of the water resources in which the water quality is decreasing and water hyacinths have invaded. The objective of this study is to understand the interaction between the lake morphometry and water quality and specifically the phosphorus dynamics and their effect on the water hyacinths. A bathymetric survey was conducted in late 2017. Various morphometric parameters were derived, and both these parameters and sediment available phosphorus were regressed with the dissolved phosphorus. The results show that, with a wave base depth that is nearly equal to a maximum depth of 14.8 m, the bottom sediments were continuously suspended in the water column. As a result of the resuspension mixing, we found that the dissolved phosphorus in the water column decreased with lake depth and increased with sediment available phosphorus (R2 = 0.84) in the northern half of the lake. This relationship is not as strong in the south due to a large flow of Gilgel Abay to the outlets. Water hyacinths were found where the lake was shallow and the available phosphorus was elevated. The large reservoir of sediment phosphorus will hamper any remedial e orts in removing the water hyacinths.