The effects of lake dynamics on the water quality of Abel Lake Reservoir

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Virginia Tech


The Abel Lake Reservoir in Stafford County, Virginia, was investigated to evaluate the lake's temporal and spatial dynamics with respect to water quality and water treatment problems. A limnological survey was conducted. The survey included all conventional parameters for the characterization of hydrodynamics and lake-water quality.

Abel Lake was found to be a typical temperate-zone lake that stratifies thermally in the summer, and the hypolimnetic water quality subsequently degrades with the depletion of oxygen. The lake then circulates in the fall in a process that begins in the shallow, upstream area of the lake and progresses downstream gradually until the deepest regions have circulated. The circulation process brings poor quality water from the hypolimnion to the surface where it is drawn into the treatment facility and creates treatment problems.

Results also show that algal growth and nutrient concentrations were moderate during the study, however, the potential for cultural eutrophication is present should unmonitored development of the watershed occur.