Temporal and depth variation of water quality due to thermal stratification in Karkheh Reservoir, Iran

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Study region: Karkheh Dam Reservoir (KDR) located in western Iran. Study focus: To date, there has been no research in the KDR that investigates the interconnections among thermal stratification (ThS), water quality, and nutrients, based on field measurements. This study explored the temporal trend of ThS in the KDR and its interrelationship with water quality parameters based on data measured from 2005–2006. New hydrological insights for the region: The results showed that a noticeable ThS in the KDR starts in late April and continues until early December. The strongest ThS occurs during late summer when the water temperature difference between the surface and bottom layers in the reservoir exceeds 18 °C. As a result of external forces that generally intensify in December, vertical water circulation occurs, and by January and February there is a minimal temperature gradient between the surface and bottom layers. During ThS, dissolved oxygen (DO) is strongly confined by the metalimnion and does not penetrate into the hypolimnion. However, even during late December to February, there is a large difference between DO concentration in the surface and bottom layers, which indicates limited mixing. Ammonium increasing and nitrate decreasing with depth was observed, likely due to denitrification (in the bottom layers) and nitrification (in the surface layers), respectively. The results of the present study provide new information on the spatio-temporal variation of water quality in large reservoirs, which is important for stakeholders with concerns related to lake and reservoir eutrophication and water quality issues.




Noori, R., Berndtsson, R., Franklin Adamowski, J., & Rabiee Abyaneh, M. (2018). Temporal and depth variation of water quality due to thermal stratification in Karkheh Reservoir, Iran. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 19, 279–286. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrh.2018.10.003

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