Item: Aquatic ecology as a function of avalancherunoutintoanalnnelake
Title: Aquatic ecology as a function of avalancherunoutintoanalnnelake
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1992 International Snow Science Workshop, Breckenridge, Colorado, USA
Authors: Mark W. Williams, Kelly Elder, Chad Soiseth, and Rick Kattelmann
Abstract: Avalanche activity formed an avalanche plunge pool, developed a high-quality spawning area, and changed the water quality of Emerald Lake, a 2.72ha tarn located at 2800m in the southern Sierra Nevada of California. The submerged plunge pool at Emerald Lake is characterized by a distinct arcuate ridge surrounding a depression visible from the lake shore, at a depth of only 0.5 to 2.0 m. The plunge pool lies directly below the largest and most active avalanche path in the basin. The local topography has the distinct form identified by many researchers as unique to avalanche processes. Formation of the plunge pool by avalanches in Emerald Lake has resulted in the development of a high-quality spawning area for the resident brook trout (Salvelil1/lS fontinalis) in this steep-walled section of (he lake. The avalanche plunge pool covers only 2% of lake area but accounts for about 50% of the successful spawning in the lake. Snow accumulation in the lake from avalanche mnout had a marked impact on the chemistry of lake water. The low values for alkalinity and pH at this site relative to other areas of the lake indicate that any increases in the acidity of snowfall will not be buffered and could have adverse effects on the local biota.
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Keywords: plunge pool, avalanche path, spawning
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