The water balance and stable isotope hydrology of Lake Edward, Uganda-Congo

James M. Russell, Thomas C. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Luke Edward, Uganda-Congo, is one of the least studied of the great lakes of East Africa, and little is known of its physical hydrology. Stable isotope data and modeling and previously published estimates of Lake Edward's water balance are used to constrain the physical hydrology of the lake, and particularly the relative proportion of surface outflow to evaporative water losses. Stable isotope calculations suggest that Lake Edward loses roughly 50% of its water income by evaporation, while reviews of published hydrologic data together with our calculations suggest that evaporation comprises 54% of water losses. The similarity of these two sets of calculations lends credence to their validity, and provides a new water budget for the lake. Our results have important implications for the chemistry and hydroclimatic sensitivity of Lake Edward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-90
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Great Lakes Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank the Government of Uganda, and in particular the Ugandan National Council of Science and Technology and Ugandan Wildlife Authority for permission to conduct field work. Dirk Verschuren, Hilde Eggermont, Kristina R. M. Beun-ing, and the International Decade for East African Lakes program are also acknowledged for assistance with field work. Sharon Nicholson and John T. Lehman provided very helpful reviews of an earlier version of this manuscript. This research was supported by NSF Earth System History program grant # 0314832. Any opinions, findings and conclusions expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • East Africa
  • Hydrology
  • Lake Edward
  • Rift lake
  • Stable isotope

Continental Scientific Drilling Facility tags

  • EDW

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