Influence of Climatic Phenomena on Sedimentation and Increase of Lake Enriquillo in Dominican Republic, 1900-2014

  •  Rafael Mendez-Tejeda    
  •  Ramon A. Delanoy    


From 2003 to 2013, Enriquillo Lake, Dominican Republic, showed an increase in water level of 13 meters, with its level changing from 42 to 29 meters below sea level (BSL). In 2003, its maximum depth was approximately 24 meters; in 2013, it was 37.1 meters. The water surface coverage increased from 194.9 to 391 km2, flooding agricultural areas and leaving hundreds of people homeless. In addition, salinity increased from 105 ‰ to 23.4 ‰, a decrease of 4.47 times comparable to the volume change, which increased 4.48 times according to topographic and bathymetric maps. These changes began with Tropical Storm Odette and occurred progressively through 15 additional tropical cyclones (TC) or hurricanes that struck Lake Enriquillo between 2003 and 2011. Other climatic phenomena that have great influence on the Caribbean climate include the following: North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), Southern El Niño Oscillation (ENSO), the trade winds, North Atlantic Warm Pool, Multidecadal Oscillation, the anticyclone Caribbean Regulator Climate Centers (CRCCs), and the Bermuda-Azores High (Mendez-Tejeda et al. 2017). The sediment records deposited by the runoff from these phenomena were analyzed. These proxy records were used to determine the decadal fluctuations related to cyclonic systems and the resultant effect upon increasing the level of Lake Enriquillo (LE). The accumulation rate (TAS) was estimated by means of 210 (210Pb) lead radiochronology, elemental composition, and mineral and ignition loss. These results were correlated with the extreme climatic events that affected the Lake Enriquillo Basin (LEB) from 1900 and 2011.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1916-9779
  • ISSN(Online): 1916-9787
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: semiannual

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