Classification of playa lakes based on origin, morphology, and water quality parameters



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Texas Tech University


Previous playa lake studies on the Southern High Plains (SHP) were conducted to undCTstand the origin, development, hydrology, and habitat value of playa lakes, with limited work done on the water quality aspects. The few water quality studies were in the form of analyses of samples from a few playa lakes. Results of sample analyses from a few lakes in a particular region were used to geneialize the water quality of nearly 30,000 lakes on the SHP. However, such generalization is not an adequate measure of the water quality variations of lakes OVCT the wide expanse of the SHP (80,000 km^).

Hence, models are needed which can predict water quality based on lake specific parameters (such as morphological variables) without performing extensive analyses of field samples. The first objective of this study, therefore, is to initiate development of such mathematical models for wata* quality variables of playa lakes. During the process of model development, water quality variables from 62 lakes distributed over eleven counties were used. The second objective of this study is to use the values of morphological variables (given by Reeves) in the water quality models developed in the first phase. Consequently, a possible range for the water quality variables of the three types of lakes (characterized by Reeves) can be proposed.

With respect to the first objective, strong water quality models could not be developed with the set of lake specific parameters used. Since, strong models could not be developed and validated a possible range for the water quality variables could not be proposed.