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ABSTRACT: Water quality data collected between 1978 and 1981 in a highly lake in Northern Venezuela, Lake Valencia, were analyzed to detect spatial and temporal trends. Based on the results of the analyses, an appropriate nutrient‐algae dynamics model was formulated. Because many parameters, such as the algae concentration were constant over time, and the model is time dependent, the model had to be calibrated with the use of a large and structured trial‐and‐error calibration process. Through the calibration process, the most sensitive parameters of the model were identified, and are in order of importance: the chlorophyll‐to‐nitrogen ratio for algae, the algae settling velocity, the phosphorus release rate from the sediments, the chlorophyll‐to‐phosphorus ratio for algae, and the exchange coefficient in the upper layer of the lake. Model simulations showed that a reduction in the nitrogen load to the lake as well as a reduction in the phosphorus load will decrease the algae population. These model simulations had a high degree of uncertainty associated with them, making additional sampling directed towards the measurement of the sensitive parameters desirable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-592
Number of pages8
JournalJAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


  • eutrophication
  • model
  • nutrients
  • parameter estimation
  • sensitivity
  • uncertainty


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