Lake Mapping

Article #4 lake mapping bathymetry on the job colleague fountains and aeration

Using Mapping and Bathymetry to Make Smart Lake or Pond Management Decisions

Ybathymetry-map.jpgou may be aware that bathymetry and lake mapping involve the measurement of lake or pond depth and surface area through the use of advanced technologies. And you may also know that various maps can be created to show the volume, characteristics and sedimentation buildup of your waterbody. But, do you know why it’s so important to have all this data at your fingertips?

Lake mapping and bathymetry is crucial to developing an effective lake or pond management strategy. By knowing the exact surface area, depths, structural locations and sedimentation accumulations of your waterbody, you’ll be ready to make the right decisions to properly restore or maintain your aquatic resource. Surface mapping, bathymetry and sedimentation mapping data can be utilized to:

• Properly size and place aeration devices and fountains

• Apply the right amount of aquatic weed or algae control products

• Strategically place structural fish cover

• Manage your aquatic vegetation

• Budget for and prolong costly dredging

Planning for Future Dredging Projects


An integrated approach to lake and pond management helps extend the life of your waterbody, but eventually nature will run its course. Buildup of sediment over time is an unavoidable complication and if you want to accurately evaluate the current sediment accumulation in your waterbody, and determine when it will need to be dredged and how much it will cost to do so, bathymetry is a must.

The decision to dredge a pond or lake is almost always a last resort, but in many cases it becomes an unavoidable necessity. Even well maintained lakes and ponds, over time, will have to face some amount of dredging. Dredging is also typically the largest single expenditure a pond manager will incur. Because of the high cost of dredging, it’s smart to be prepared.

SOLitude recommends that you have a bathymetric and sedimentation study performed every three to five years. Having these studies conducted regularly allows you to track the buildup of sediment and to use it as a tool for benchmarking or checking in as part of your lake or pond management strategy. They will also help you determine the necessary budget and timing for future dredging projectsIf you are ready to dredge, a bathymetric analysis needs to be done before you proceed. Having this analysis performed prior to dredging enables you to determine exact sediment levels so that you’ll have an accurate idea of the final cost. This also allows you to establish a baseline so you can evaluate the work of the dredging contractor.

So, whether you’re just beginning to think about developing your lake or pond management strategy or looking to improve your existing plan, accurate bathymetric and lake mapping analysis is essential and SOLitude has the tools you need to be successful.


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