Articles | Volume 20, issue 7
Research article
22 Jul 2016
Research article |  | 22 Jul 2016

A practical approach to lake water density from electrical conductivity and temperature

Santiago Moreira, Martin Schultze, Karsten Rahn, and Bertram Boehrer

Related authors

Reliable reference for the methane concentrations in Lake Kivu at the beginning of industrial exploitation
Bertram Boehrer, Wolf von Tümpling, Ange Mugisha, Christophe Rogemont, and Augusta Umutoni
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 4707–4716,,, 2019
Short summary
Quantitative analysis of biogeochemically controlled density stratification in an iron-meromictic lake
E. Nixdorf and B. Boehrer
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 4505–4515,,, 2015

Related subject area

Subject: Rivers and Lakes | Techniques and Approaches: Modelling approaches
Benchmarking high-resolution hydrologic model performance of long-term retrospective streamflow simulations in the contiguous United States
Erin Towler, Sydney S. Foks, Aubrey L. Dugger, Jesse E. Dickinson, Hedeff I. Essaid, David Gochis, Roland J. Viger, and Yongxin Zhang
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 27, 1809–1825,,, 2023
Short summary
Sources of skill in lake temperature, discharge and ice-off seasonal forecasting tools
François Clayer, Leah Jackson-Blake, Daniel Mercado-Bettín, Muhammed Shikhani, Andrew French, Tadhg Moore, James Sample, Magnus Norling, Maria-Dolores Frias, Sixto Herrera, Elvira de Eyto, Eleanor Jennings, Karsten Rinke, Leon van der Linden, and Rafael Marcé
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 27, 1361–1381,,, 2023
Short summary
Past and future climate change effects on the thermal regime and oxygen solubility of four peri-alpine lakes
Olivia Desgué-Itier, Laura Melo Vieira Soares, Orlane Anneville, Damien Bouffard, Vincent Chanudet, Pierre Alain Danis, Isabelle Domaizon, Jean Guillard, Théo Mazure, Najwa Sharaf, Frédéric Soulignac, Viet Tran-Khac, Brigitte Vinçon-Leite, and Jean-Philippe Jenny
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 27, 837–859,,, 2023
Short summary
Exploring tracer information in a small stream to improve parameter identifiability and enhance the process interpretation in transient storage models
Enrico Bonanno, Günter Blöschl, and Julian Klaus
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 26, 6003–6028,,, 2022
Short summary
How do inorganic nitrogen processing pathways change quantitatively at daily, seasonal, and multiannual scales in a large agricultural stream?
Jingshui Huang, Dietrich Borchardt, and Michael Rode
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 26, 5817–5833,,, 2022
Short summary

Cited articles

Appelo, C. A. J.: Specific Conductance: how to calculate, to use, and the pitfalls, available at:, last access: June 2016.
Atkins, P. and de Paula, A.: Physical Chemistry, 9th ed, Oxford University Press, 2009.
Baborowski, M., Büttner, O., and Einax, J. W.: Assessment of Water Quality in the Elbe River at Low Water Conditions Based on Factor Analysis, Clean – Soil, Air, Water, 39, 437–443,, 2011.
Boehrer, B.: WEBAX – Web access to numerical tools of limnology, available at: (last access: July 2016), 2010.
Boehrer, B. and Schultze, M.: Stratification of lakes, Rev. Geophys., 46, RG2005,, 2008.
Short summary
Density calculations in lakes are essential in the study of stability, stratification and numerical modelling. However, density equations which use fixed constant coefficients are still common in use, despite their limitations. We present a practical approach which can specifically include the effect of dissolved substances by fitting two coefficients. The method has been tested against density equations and density measurements in lakes.