Physical background of the development of oxygen depletion in ice-covered lakes

Oecologia. 2007 Mar;151(2):331-40. doi: 10.1007/s00442-006-0543-8. Epub 2006 Nov 18.


The effect of the heat interaction between a water column and sediments on the formation, development, and duration of existence of anaerobic zones in ice-covered lakes is estimated based on observational data from five frozen lakes located in northwestern Russia and North America. A simple one-dimensional model that describes the formation and development of the dissolved oxygen deficit in shallow ice-covered lakes is suggested. The model reproduces the main features of dissolved oxygen dynamics during the ice-covered period; that is, the vertical structure, the thickness, and the rate of increase of the anaerobic zone in bottom layers. The model was verified against observational data. The results from the verification show that the model adequately describes the dissolved oxygen dynamics in winter. The consumption rates of DO by bacterial plankton and by bottom sediments, which depend on the heat transfer through the water-sediment interface, are calculated. The results obtained allow the appearance of potentially dangerous anaerobic zones in shallow lakes and in separate lake areas, which result from thermal regime changes, to be predicted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anaerobiosis*
  • Fresh Water / chemistry*
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Ice Cover*
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • North America
  • Oxygen / analysis*
  • Russia
  • Time Factors


  • Oxygen