The distribution and morphometry of lakes and reservoirs in British Columbia: A provincial inventory

Erik Schiefer, Brian Klinkenberg

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

18 Scopus citations


An inventory of provincial lakes and reservoirs has been developed to characterise and assess the distribution and morphometry of standing water bodies in British Columbia. In the province, there are over 241,500 lakes and reservoirs greater than 1,000 m2 in size. These water bodies cover 2.37 percent of the province area and contain an estimated 521 km3 of water (312 km3 in natural lakes and 209 km3 in reservoirs). A hypsometric relation suitable for order-of-magnitude estimates of lake volume from lake area is presented. Based on the distribution and morphometric attributes of lakes, several distinctive limnologic regions were identified, including the northeastern Alberta Plateau (highest proportion of circular lakes), the southwestern Alberta Plateau (lowest lake density/ coverage and highest proportion of irregularly shaped lakes) and the Milbanke Strandflat (highest density of lakes). Observed regional and scale-related patterns in lake distribution/ morphometry appear to be largely related to geomorphic controls, particularly tectonic and glacial history. Large-scale hydrologic implications of these standing water bodies and potential ecosystem/water resource management applications of the provincial inventory are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages11
Specialist publicationCanadian Geographer
StatePublished - Sep 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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