Fractal Characteristics of lakes


Fractal geometry provides a framework for understanding lake morphometry at the global scale. Here, I summarize the successes and limitations of this approach. In general, fractal geometry contributes to limnological questions that consider large populations lakes and not individual lakes. For example, constraints of the balance of small versus large lakes are readily derived, and the total abundance and surface area of lakes can be calculated based on this relationship. Additionally, the total volume and mean depth of a population of lakes can be accurately estimated. The volume and mean depth of individual lakes cannot be estimated and this is a major limitation because most limnological questions involving these parameters are at the scale of the individual lake. I conclude by identifying some novel questions the fractal approach is suitable for addressing.

Thule (Kungl. Skytteanska samfundets årsbok)