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Chemical and algal relationships in a salinity series of Ethiopian inland waters

, : Chemical and algal relationships in a salinity series of Ethiopian inland waters. Hydrobiologia, 158: 29-67

Most Ethiopian lakes are parts of closed drainage systems and collectively form an extensive salinity series, here treated comparatively for geographical, chemical and algal characteristics. Chemical data are presented for 28 lakes and numerous inflows, including original analyses for 15 lakes, in which total ionic concentration and electrical conductivity vary over 4 orders of magnitude. The principal determinant of a lake's position in the series is the open or closed nature of its individual drainage. At present there are three major closed systems (Awash R. — Afar drainage, northern rift lakes, southern rift lakes), numerous crater lakes with seepage -in and -out, and two cryptodepressions with marine inputs. Salinity is primarily determined by evaporative concentration, enhanced in lakes associated with past marine influence or recent volcanic activity by readily soluble materials in the catchment, and by some thermal-reflux pathways. However, anomalously dilute closed lakes exist, indicative of other processes of solute loss (e.g. past basin overflow, ‘reverse weathering’, seepage-out).


DOI: 10.1007/bf00026266

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