The stability of the water column in french ponds (limousin region) by the calculation of the wedderburn number




 Abstract. The stability of the water column in French ponds (Limousin Region) by the calculation of the Wedderburn number. Oxygenation and biological life in lakes, reservoirs and ponds depend on the stability of the water column and on the rhythms of stratification and mixing periods. Slight thermal stratification in ponds often is regarded as the same as instability in shallow lakes. Nevertheless fetch in ponds is very short, what reduces the mixing. Wedderburn number (quotient of the buoyancy by the mixing) is used to quantify the stability in shallow water bodies. We calculate it for some ponds in French region Limousin, due to original hourly water temperature measurements in all depths and wind data of Météofrance stations. First results show that very high values (above 10) are frequent in summer and spring period (during 41% of the total time of 2 336 hours from May to July in three ponds). That is why we may consider Limousin ponds as stable stratified bodies of water despite their shallowness. Continuous measurements allow to calculate the diurnal cycle and other time scales of the Wedderburn number, with periods of weakening, when air temperatures and surface water temperatures decrease, wind speed increases and when the wind blows in the same direction with the length of the pond. The most complex variable is the depth of the thermocline; a light increase of the breeze thickens the upper warm layer and strengthens the stability, but an important increase of the wind tends to destroy the stratification.


Keywords: pond, water temperature, buoyancy, mixed layer.