SETTING

The lakes are separated by a conical-shaped land strip that at its smallest extent (in the south) is now just about 2 miles wide. The lakes are also at different elevations with respect to Mean Sea Level, MSL. The current surface level of LA is at around +20 meters while that of LE is at -42 (Google Earth Pro, accessed June 2016), i.e. a total hydraulic head drop of about 55 – 60 meters that fluctuates depending on the lake levels which do not move in unison but instead show a highly asynchronous growth and shrink pattern.

Both lakes are endorheic in nature, i.e. they have no natural outlet to the see, and are fed by its surrounding watersheds. They differ in that Lake Azuei features no substantial man-made withdrawal/discharge controls (except water levels rise very high => reverse flow to the Trou Caiman lake and then westwards into the Boucan Brou Canal) while LAke Enriquillo has several man-made canals at its eastern shores that are part of a drainage and irrigation system. 

The lakes lie in close proximity to the Enriquillo-Plantain-Garden fault that runs underneath the rift valley in east-westerly directions. The lakes are flanked to the north and south by high rise mountains while the eastern and western ends are flat and follow the general direction of the rift valley. The climate also varies from arid in the lowlands to very humid in the mountains especially at the Montane Forrest belt. All rivers and streams around the lake are of ephemeral nature (no baseflow) and the lake is approximately located in the center of its watershed. Basins of this type are known to be very sensitive to slight changes in hydrological balance, which in turn, may cause significant changes in water budget of the lake.  

© 2017 Created by Michael Piasecki

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Lake Azuei

We created a so-called "bathtub" model in which we stitched the surrounding land elevations to the collected bathymetry allowing us to "fill and drain" the lake to whatever level we desire. What you see here is a 3D image of the bathymetry only with the rim set at around +23 meters above MSL.