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Open-File Report 2007-1279

Open-File Report 2007-1279

Water Velocity and Suspended Solids Measurements by In-situ Instruments in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon

By Jeffrey W. Gartner, Roy E. Wellman, Tamara M. Wood, and Ralph T. Cheng


The U. S. Geological Survey conducted hydrodynamic measurements in Upper Klamath Lake during four summer seasons (approximately mid-June to mid-September) during 2003 to 2006. Measurements included water current profiles made by acoustic Doppler current profilers at a number of fixed locations in the lake during all four years as well as from a moving boat during 2005 and 2006. Measurements of size distribution of suspended material were made at four locations in the lake during 2004-2006. Raw (unfiltered) data are presented as time series of measurements. In addition, water-velocity data have been filtered to remove wind-induced variations with periods less than thirty hours from the measurements. Bar graphs of horizontal and vertical water speed and acoustic backscatter have been generated to discern diurnal variations, especially as they relate to wind patterns over the lake.

Mean speeds of the horizontal currents in the lake range between about 3.5 to 15 cm/s with the higher speeds at the deep locations in the trench on the west side of the lake. Current directions generally conform to the lake’s bathymetry contours and the water circulation pattern is usually in a clockwise direction around the lake as established by the prevailing north to northwesterly surface winds in the region. Diurnal patterns in horizontal currents probably relate to diurnal wind patterns with minimum wind speeds near noon and maximum wind speeds near 2100. Diurnal variations in vertical velocities do not appear to be related to wind patterns; they do appear to be related to expected patterns of vertical migration of Aphanizomenon flos aquae, (AFA) the predominant species of blue-green algae in the lake. Similarly, diurnal variations in acoustic backscatter, especially near the lake’s surface, are probably related to the vertical migration of AFA.


Field Location and Equipmen
Data Presentation
References Cited

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Send questions or comments about this report to the author, J.W. Gartner, (520) 670-6671 ext.268.

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