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What causes a pond to turnover in the middle of the summer?
Nashville, Ark. – Turnover is the gentle, natural mixing of pond and lake waters.
It is caused by changing temperatures in surface waters brought on by the progression
of the seasons. In Arkansas’ continental-temperature climate, most ponds and lakes
turn over in both the fall and spring. Turnover occurs in the fall when surface waters
cool, and in the spring when they warm-up again.
The density and weight of water change with temperature. Like most other liquids and
gasses, cold water is both heavier and denser than warm water. Water has one unique
property, however. It is most dense and heavier at 39°F. As water cools and approaches
32° F, its molecules actually expand and form the crystalline structure of ice. Ice
floats because it is both lighter and less dense than the warmer 39° F water beneath
it. It is this unique property, which makes it possible for aquatic life, including
fish to over-winter in streams and rivers, ponds and lakes. If water’s weight and
density were greatest at 32°F ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers would become solid
Your pond has four stages in its annual cycle. As you might expect, these stages parallel
the four seasons of the year. They are:
Obviously, no two ponds are exactly alike. Some ponds stratify strongly during the
summer and some remain well mixed from top to bottom. Others never, or seldom, have
an ice cover and do not experience winter stratification. Some of the factors that
modify your pond’s annual cycle are climate, depth, topography, and pond size.
So what causes a pond to turnover in the middle of the summer? It is usually tied
back to a quick cool down from a rain event and is typically a smaller pond that will
turnover. Most people do not realize their pond has turned over, unless there is a
fish kill. Small, shallow ponds will be more apt to turn over in the summer months
and have greater fish kill than larger, deep ponds.
For more information on pond management contact the Howard County Extension office
at 870-845-7517 or you may contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
By Sherry Beaty-Sullivan County Extension Agent - AgricultureThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Sherry Beaty-Sullivan County Extension Agent - Agriculture U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 421 N. Main Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 email@example.com
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action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
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