The Distribution and Morphometry of Lakes and Reservoirs in British Columbia: A Provincial Inventory

By Schiefer, Erik; Klinkenberg, Brian | The Canadian Geographer, Fall 2004 | Go to article overview

The Distribution and Morphometry of Lakes and Reservoirs in British Columbia: A Provincial Inventory


Schiefer, Erik, Klinkenberg, Brian, The Canadian Geographer


Introduction

Lakes play an important role as a critical ecosystem component for many aquatic and terrestrial plant and animal species and are an invaluable freshwater resource for human populations. To improve the regional knowledge base of British Columbia's water resources, a comprehensive inventory and assessment of the distribution and morphometry of lakes and reservoirs has been developed using the most recently available provincial mapping and the large-scale spatial-analysis capabilities of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The abundance of lake bodies and their extensive distribution across the physiographically diverse and largely remote landmass of British Columbia have hindered previous attempts to carry out such an analysis (Northcote and Larkin 1956; Northcote 1964; Trainor and Church 1996). Furthermore, there exists a continuum of lakes and other surface-water features, including ponds (scale continuum), wetlands (maturity continuum) and rivers (flow dynamics continuum), that makes classification difficult. Although British Columbia has fewer lakes than the other western Canadian provinces (Northcote and Larkin 1963), it probably contains the greatest diversity of lake types because of the complex tectonic and glacial history of the Canadian cordillera. The largest water bodies and major physiographic elements of the province (based on Mathews 1986) are shown in Figure 1.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

From a regional perspective, a provincial lake inventory would enhance our potential understanding of the physical, chemical and biological nature of the lakes of British Columbia. Such an inventory and classification of our physical landscape features will be necessary for the management and protection of provincial freshwater resources and aquatic ecosystems. The inventory may also be useful in characterising regional geomorphology and hydrology of the province and will serve as an example of how large digital databases and GIS capabilities may be utilised in cataloguing and interpreting landscapes in a spatial context.

Previous Work

Northcote and Larkin (1956) used lake surveys compiled by the British Columbia Game Commission (100 lakes) to investigate relations between the physical and chemical characteristics of the lakes and standing crops of organisms. Total dissolved content of lake water was concluded to be the most important factor in determining standing crops in lakes of British Columbia. Based primarily on productivity, nine limnologic regions were proposed for the province. Northcote (1964) provided additional information on these regions, briefly described several new regions and made the first attempt to enumerate the number of lakes in British Columbia for the purpose of sport-fish management. Using the limited government resource mapping available at that time, it was estimated that there were over 20,000 lakes in the province. Northcote and Larkin (1963) provide a review of early limnologic endeavours and limnologic research carried out in British Columbia.

Based on eighty years of lake surveying, the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management (2003), Aquatic Information Branch, has compiled and curates a provincial fisheries lake survey that contains basic morphometric data (including lake volume) for approximately 3,000 lakes. Using a subset of this inventory in conjunction with the Lake Classification Project Database (collected by the Canada Department of Fisberies and Oceans--1,000 lakes in total), Trainor and Church (1996) carried out a morphometric assessment and characterisation for three provincial subregions. Principal findings of the study included the identification of a clear planimetric relation between lake perimeter and area and a regionally variable hypsometric relation between lake volume and depth versus area. All relations exhibited substantial residual scatter. Variates of ecological interest, including lake littoral area and flushing time, were also investigated. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Distribution and Morphometry of Lakes and Reservoirs in British Columbia: A Provincial Inventory
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.