|Paleo Slide Set: Climate and the Classic Maya Civilization|
|Hydrologic cycle of a closed-basin lake|
| Both Lakes Chichancanab
and Punta Laguna are considered to be closed-basin lakes. Although the geology
of Yucatan is karstic (consisting of porous limestone), many of the lakes
are perched above the water table and isolated hydrologically by clay-basin
seals. Closed-basin lakes have simple water budgets, and typically receive
water by precipitation, slope wash, and groundwater seepage, while losing
a majority of their water through evaporation. Therefore the lake volume,
dissolved solute concentrations and oxygen isotopic ratios are largely controlled
by the ratio of evaporation to precipitation. This characteristic makes
closed-basin lakes climatically sensitive to the changing conditions of
evaporation or precipitation.
Department of Geology, University of Florida
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